It's being called a national epidemic that's effecting the most vulnerable people in our communities.
According to a release from the Baltimore City Department of Social Services older Americans lose $2.5 billion a year as a result of elder abuse and financial exploitation.
Unfortunately, most of the time the elderly are targeted by someone they know.
On Friday the City of Baltimore held a resource fair for the elderly to educate them on the threats they face.
Stephanie Watts lives at Jenkins Senior Homes, she said it’s hard for people to admit when they’ve been targeted.
“We as a community whether we’re victims or not we’re not willing to speak up and say that’s abuse,” Watts said. “That “A" word is just not something that you want to say. I think it’s a matter of being in a safe environment to say out loud, it happens.”
On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Baltimore City held their first Senior Resource Fair.
Each year an estimated five million older adults are abused, neglected or exploited nationwide.
“It infuriates me but what can I do?” said Maureen Redmon who lives in Jenkins Senior Homes. “The only thing I could do was make sure my mother was taken care of “
In Baltimore they are working with the Baltimore City States Attorney’s office and new tracking system for elderly abuse cases called MD Think.
“We want to ensure that these cases are investigated and perpetrators are prosecuted,” said Stacy Rodgers the Director of Baltimore City Department of Social Services. "If they’re not prosecuted then we do not have the ability to stop this because they’ll go on to other people.”
You may know Frank Abagnale from the blockbuster movie "Catch Me If You Can".
Before serving as a consultant for the FBI for 40 years he made millions of dollars using fraudulent checks.
“I live in a great country where you can make a mistake and get up start all over again if you really want to change your life,” said Abganale. “I think I hope people remember me more about I was proof that you can actually do that.”
His legacy for the last 4 years has been working with AARP going around the country educating the elderly about scams.
“Anytime someone starts telling you something has to be done this instant you have to do it immediately, that’s the red flag that it’s probably a scam. “