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Financial Scams – Did This Happen To You? You are not alone

Since 2020, elder financial abuse has risen 10%, growing from 7.86 million cases per year to 8.68 million, and these are just the cases that are reported. Studies show that only 1 in every 23.5 incidences of elder fraud are reported to the authorities*.

Being a victim of fraud can affect each person differently. Some may not be aware of their fraudulent involvement as scams via telephone, internet, and computer security are highly advanced and always shape-shifting toward the newest trends. For those who have been victimized and are living with the consequences of the fallout, the mental and physical impact can be devastating. Fraudulent encounters can leave a huge emotional wake in its path including feelings of isolation or stigma for fear of someone finding out, guilt and shame for the violation, self-doubt and blame for ‘falling for it’, and depression and anxiety from the financial toll or betrayal. Symptoms of fraud victimization run the gamut and can be compared to those experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What to do about it? At Alzheimer’s Family Center, we are offering a first of its kind group therapy opportunity for those who have been impacted by fraud, scams, or suspicious engagements with family, caregivers, or romantic partners that resulted in financial or emotional exploitation.

Our 8-week meeting series will provide a safe, confidential space for people to share their experiences with others and learn more about how to emotionally recover and protect themselves for the future. Each meeting will include opportunities for education on the newest scam trends and provide resources on steps that can be taken to report and prevent the further spread of these devastating acts. And those who have been subjected to fraud will find a safe space to process their feelings and common ground with others who have also been down this path. This series is free thanks to a grant from the UniHealth Foundation.

For more information, call (714) 593-9630.

*The United States of Elder Fraud – How Prevalent is Elder Financial Abuse in Each State? – Comparitech

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