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NCJ Number: 90062 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Business and Investment Frauds Perpetrated Against the Elderly A Growing Scandal - A Report by the Chairman of the House Select Committee on Aging
Author(s): C Pepper
Corporate Author: US Congress
House Select Cmtte on Aging
United States of America
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 59
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Congress
Washington, DC 20515
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report documents the growing problem of business and investment frauds perpetrated against the elderly, their most prevalent forms, existing problems in countering such crime, and suggests ways to better counter the problem.
Abstract: This study was based on questionnaires to all State attorneys general and departments of consumer affairs as well as detailed analysis of thousands of cases in the offices of the Federal Trade Commission, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The study found that among the victims of increasing fraud in the United States, the elderly and poor are disproportionately represented. Business and investment frauds are particularly prevalent because of the large amount of money involved, and it is often impossible to tell a fraud from legitimate business and investment opportunities. The primary forms of business and investment frauds are work-at-home schemes, securities frauds, franchise frauds, distributorship frauds, and commodities frauds. Almost all of the schemes use the mail. While the U.S. Postal Service does an excellent job in countering the perpetration of fraud through the mail, it has limited authority and resources to deal with the problem. Further, penalties imposed in false representation cases are too light, and recidivism is high. Reform should include (1) educating the public about the kinds of schemes so persons can take preventative action, (2) improving communication between State and Federal law enforcement agencies, (3) enacting new, tough laws that give State attorneys general and departments of consumer affairs the tools needed to deal with such frauds, and (4) increasing the resources necessary to increase fraud prosecutions. Further, Congress should enact H.R. 3973/H.R. 7044 to strengthen the authority of the Postal Service to deal with mail frauds. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Confidence game; Crimes against the elderly; Fraud; Law reform
Note: Comm Pub 97-347
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