As adults age, they begin to lose what is called fluid intelligence, making it more difficult to manage finances. This also makes them more susceptible to scams that might seem obvious to other people. Cardin’s mother continued to ignore warnings and gave her personal funds to a variety of foreign scammers, eventually losing her home and all savings. She has since been diagnosed with dementia and has moved in with Cardin, who began managing her finances and had taken away computer access.
“It’s still hard to talk about and believe it happened,” said Emily, who shared her mother’s story in June at a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) educational forum organized by the Financial Exploitation Prevention Task Force.
This task force — a team of lawyers, social workers, physicians, and representatives from financial institutions, the Philadelphia police department, and the district attorney’s office — routinely holds these types of events to help prevent the financial exploitation of elders like Cardin’s mother.
“Unfortunately, the damage is already done when we hear about a case,” said Joe Snyder, who leads the task force. “We want to try to prevent this from happening altogether.”