U.S. Senator Bob Casey has launched a Web page of resources for seniors embarrassed to report abuse or who are ready to battle back against crimes committed against them.
Information for prevention, reporting crimes and contacting state and federal agencies for assistance are provided at www.casey.senate.gov/issues/seniors/scams.
The Web page was launched Thursday.
"I'm introducing this Web resource page on my website so Pennsylvania's two million seniors and caretakers have an easy, central place to find information and connect with agencies that can give them the help they need," Casey, D-Pa, said in a statement.
Only one in 14 cases of abuse is reported to authorities, according to Casey.
Cases include physical, sexual, emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, exploitation or self-neglect.
A 2010-2011, area agencies on aging within the state received 18,129 reports of abuse, including 630 in York County, Casey said, referring to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging's Older Adult Protective Services Report done for that time period.
The department's report for 2006-2007 indicates there were 11,962 abuse reports in that period, according to Casey.
In the 2010-2011 report, 15 percent of the substantiated abuse cases involved financial abuse or exploitation, while 37.5 percent were self-neglect cases and 26.9 percent were caregiver neglect, Casey said.
Also, seniors often have excellent credit and are trusting, which makes them targets of fraud perpetrators and con artists, according to Casey.
"A lot of seniors are reluctant to report that they're victims of abuse and scams because of embarrassment, so they don't get the help that they need," said Alex Miller, deputy press secretary for Casey.
Abuse and scams against seniors are "pervasive" problems in Pennsylvania, and Casey is acting on concerns he has heard from constituents and media reports, Miller said.
The Web page includes scam and fraud prevention tips and alerts, hotline information and abuse reporting options from various organizations, including the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, National Council on Aging, the National Center on Elder Abuse and the AARP Fraud Watch Network.
Miller said Casey's office is contacting agencies that work with seniors to make them aware of the Web page and to find ways to get its information to seniors who don't use computers.
—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.