Joseph Roubicek. Financial Abuse of the Elderly: A Detective’s Case Files of Exploitation Crimes. Ruby House Publisher. 2008. 161 pages.
Although elderly individuals are often the victims of fraud, there is another type of financial abuse that is more difficult to prosecute. This sometimes shocking book explains how the elderly are often exploited financially and offers some tips to avoiding such exploitation.
Written by Joe Roubicek, a former detective with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department who investigated more than 1,000 cases of exploitation against the elderly, Financial Abuse of the Elderly offers a sobering view of how predators are able to take advantage of elderly individuals. Mr. Roubicek provides examples from actual cases he investigated to illustrate the difficulty in catching these financial abusers.
Roubicek emphasizes the difference between fraud and exploitation. While fraud involves deception, exploitation involves taking advantage of an elderly person’s disability, such as short-term memory loss. Exploiters often convince an elderly victim to give them gifts, and before long a bank account can be emptied. According to Roubicek, such exploitation is difficult to stop because it appears the elderly individual is acting voluntarily.
While Roubicek offers some recommendations, such as trusts and powers of attorney, for protecting yourself or someone you love from being exploited, the book is mainly an eye-opening look at how to recognize financial exploitation in all its heartless forms.