Wednesday, September 10, 2014

August 25 Meeting: Current Trends in Elder Abuse—Making Your Advocacy Count

Notes from August meeting: Current Trends in Elder Abuse

Scott Spallina

Scott Spallina, the Supervisor of the Elder Abuse Justice Unit at the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in Honolulu named financial abuse of the elderly as the most common complaint. The elderly are easy targets because they are lonely and trusting.

Unfortunately, the perpetrator is usually a family member or a hired caretaker. They may cash checks made out to the elder by forging their signature, improper use of the power of attorney or using deceit to obtain assets.

This abuse often goes unreported because the victim doesn’t want to the family member to get in trouble, or the victim is too embarrassed.  Another scam targeting elders are letters claiming they have won a lottery.

These  letters are now well written and look legitimate.  Some include pre-printed checks that will initially fool even a bank teller. 

Other letters include a credit card that the victim is told the lottery winnings are on it and it just need to be activated.

In short, if you have been scammed do not feel embarrassed.  Report the crime.  All reports are confidential. Tel. 768-7536, or


ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES, 832-5115, suspected adult abuse/neglect.

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU, 536-6956, Monitors/provides info on businesses/contractors.
Consumer Protection, 586-2630, Investigates, businesses accused of being unfair.

CONSUMER RESOURCE CENTER, 1-800-394-1902, Info on businesses, licenses & resources for consumer complaints.

ELDER LAW PROGRAM, 956-6544, Free legal advice for seniors.

ELDERLY AFFAIRS DIVISION, 768-7705, City & County services for seniors.

LANDLORD/ TENANT HOTLINE, 586-2634, Information on Landlord/Tenant code.

SENIOR HELPLINE, 768-7700, Consultation , outreach and referrals.