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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77238 Find in a Library
Title: Consumerism and the Aging - The Elderly as Victims of Fraud Final Report
Corporate Author: Battelle Human Affairs Research Ctrs
Law and Justice Study Ctr
United States of America
Project Director: H Edelhertz
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 50
Sponsoring Agency: Battelle Human Affairs Research Ctrs
Seattle, WA 98105
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, DC 20203
Grant Number: 90-A-1019 (02)
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An executive summary is presented for a report that addresses the scope, character, and incidence of frauds and consumer abuse committed against the elderly, along with those factors believed to make the aged particularly susceptible to fraudulent market operations.
Abstract: The research sought to (1) identify the range and distribution of fraud by classifying and describing the scope, incidence, and character of fraud offenses against the elderly; (2) identify the conditions under which the elderly are most susceptible to fraud, along dimensions of their physical condition, economic condition, family relationships, neighborhood environment, etc.; (3) identify those types of quasi-legitimate business which are especially fertile ground for the perpetration of fraud against the elderly; and (4) develop a greater awareness among the aging, especially low-income aging, of the sources of fraud and the manner in which frauds are perpetrated against them. In addition, the research sought to develop guidelines and policy to make fraud less prevalent among aging populations; establish a body of information on how selected Federal, State, and local government and private organizations provide preventive and remedial actions directed against frauds committed against the elderly; and establish a body of information on methods which can be used by public and private agencies to alert and educate the elderly to the dangers of fraud and to what they can do to help themselves if they are defrauded. Findings show that many older persons who become victims of consumer fraud and abuse are self-reliant, as well informed as any other segment of the population, and perhaps no more susceptible to abusive situations than younger citizens. The research indicated, however, that the elderly may differ from their younger counterparts in the overall impact of fraud on their lives and in a relatively greater reluctance to come forward for redress when an abuse occurs. This latter difference may well be the result of stereotypes of the elderly so widespread that they are accepted even by the aged, who may fear that if they complain they will be unfairly judged by these stereotypes, which view the elderly as of diminished competence. References are included within the text. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Consumer protection; Crime specific countermeasures; Crimes against the elderly; Fraud; Summaries
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