In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15), Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall is encouraging North Carolinians to keep a sharp eye out for signs of elder financial exploitation and report suspected abuse to authorities.

Marshall warns that elder abuse is rising as baby boomers age. “Many seniors are vulnerable,” said Marshall on Wednesday. “Seniors are more likely to have nest eggs and retirement funds from a lifetime of saving, and may be socially isolated from their family and traditional support networks. So it is vital for each of us to keep an eye out for seniors, whether it’s a neighbor, a friend, or a member of your church. Listen and watch for signs of elder financial abuse.”

Common warning signs that a senior citizen may be at high risk for financial exploitation include:

  • Has a new person come into the elder’s life and shown excessive interest in their financial situation?
  • Are friends and family members unable to speak directly to the senior despite repeated attempts?
  • Does the senior suddenly talk more about financial worries, or begin making references to a financial windfall?

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