09 July 2014

"tsunami directed at our seniors"

Elder abuse tarnishes senior's golden years
Number of cases triple in past 6 years

"Our criminal justice system is not prepared for it; our courts aren't prepared for it; our government agencies are not prepared for it..."

HONOLULU —The many different forms of elder abuse can tarnish the golden years of seniors.

One front-line expert now expects Hawaii's growing elder abuse problem to turn into an epidemic.

Island pawn shops are being used by more than just those who need a little extra cash to cover their monthly bills.

"Seniors are coming into pawn shops and selling their wedding rings and jade jewelry to pay the money to someone in Nigeria because they won the lottery," said Scott Spallina, with the Elder Abuse Justice Unit.

Fake lottery and sweepstakes top the list of scams targeting Hawaii's seniors.

They are just some of the many designed by criminals to cash in on the vulnerability, trust or loneliness of our elderly.

The scams are nothing new, but what has changed is the number of elder abuse cases.

An Investigation of Elder Abuse Prevention Services and Programs           Page 291

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