‘Skyrocketing’ level of elder financial abuse rising further during COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in an era of mask-wearing, anxiety, and plenty of handwashing, but it has also brought an uptick in financial elder abuse.

One in five seniors will experience the abuse in which family members, caregivers or so-called friends take advantage of an elderly person’s finances, says Laura Tamblyn Watts, president and chief executive officer of CanAge, a national seniors’ advocacy group, who also teaches a course on law and aging at the University of Toronto. If online and phone phishing scams perpetrated by strangers are included, the number is even higher.