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NCJ Number: 91681 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Criminal and Fraudulent Victimization of the Elderly
Corporate Author: Massachusetts Legislative Research Council
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 99
Sponsoring Agency: Massachusetts Legislative Research Council
Boston, MA 02108
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
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 reviews research on criminal victimization of the elderly, its consequences, and older persons' vulnerability to fraud, as well as the laws, procedures, and practices of Massachusetts, other States, and the Federal Government that address these concerns.
Abstract: In 1980, 12.6 percent of Massachusetts' population was over 65 years. Hundreds of bills were introduced in the 1980 legislative session concerning problems of the elderly, such as consumer protection, medigap insurance, protective services, rent subsidies, and reverse annuity mortgages. Although a a general perception exists that the elderly are disproportionately victimized, current research indicates that victimization actually decreases with age. Fear of crime is much higher among the elderly than any other population group and often causes them to restrict activities, thus blocking important social, physical, and psychological needs. While the actual extent of fraud is difficult to measure, researchers believe that the elderly are more vulnerable to common swindles, insurance fraud, medical quackery, mail order schemes, work-at-home offers, pyramid sales, and repair schemes. A recent study has challenged the stereotype of the elderly as gullible and vulnerable, but older persons do suffer more from the impact of fraud than younger individuals and are reluctant to seek redress. States have received numerous complaints about unfair supplemental insurance policies, an option attractive to the elderly because of Medicare's restricted benefits. There is a relative absence of age specific legislation in Massachusetts, but the State has pioneered in consumer protection and civil rights and offers many legal remedies and enforcement mechanisms for elderly victims. Recently, the governor proposed a bill requiring minimum mandatory sentences for repeat offenders convicted of certain violent street crimes committed against persons 65 years or older. The State Department of Elder Affairs oversees several programs for the elderly and sponsors conferences. Tables and footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Crimes against the elderly; Fear of crime; Fraud; Massachusetts
Note: House...number 6556
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