Office of Justice Programs reports: "Criminals tend to prey on seniors because of their retirement nest eggs," said Matt M. Dummermuth, OJP's Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, "and because seniors are often socially isolated, may have diminished capacity in handling financial matters and don't always know where to seek guidance when they are defrauded. We hope this summit, and federal and local partnerships, will help stop those who seek to steal from seniors and support those who have been stolen from."
Many rural and tribal areas have small police departments or sheriff's offices that cover large areas with few staff and minimal resources, making it difficult for law enforcement to conduct complicated fraud investigations. These cases often have international connections, which require federal jurisdiction and resources.
The Justice Department estimates that financial exploitation, the most common form of elder abuse, afflicts one in ten seniors. According to the "2018 DOJ Report on Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation," each year an estimated $3 billion is swindled from America's senior citizens through mass-mailing and "grandparent" scams, fake prizes, fraudulent IRS refunds and extortion.
President Trump signed the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act into law on October 18, 2017. Since then, the Justice Department conducted the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history. With help from all levels of government and the private sector, the Department charged more than 250 individuals. These cases resulted in the return of more than $220 million to victims."