ARLINGTON, VA. – The Adult Protective Services Technical Assistance Resource Center (APS TARC), a project of the Administration for Community Living and administered by WRMA, Inc., has published several resources dealing with COVID-19 fraud protection and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults, including older adults and adults with disabilities.
Since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, fraudsters have used the health crisis to attempt to take advantage of others. Healthcare scams, government imposter scams, charity and mortgage relief scams, and fraudulent vaccine or protective equipment scams are just a few of the ways con artists have attempted to defraud others out of income, especially stimulus funds. The brief COVID-19 Fraud and Scams: What APS Needs to Know educates helping professionals on techniques perpetrators use and forms that scams can take. Additionally, an accompanying webinar was offered featuring speakers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission detailing some of these scams and how to report them.
In federal fiscal year 2020, nearly a quarter of all reports made to adult protective services were regarding exploitation, resulting in more than 36,000 victims of financial exploitation1. To educate adult protective services professionals on the latest investigative options, the APS TARC provided two webinars on forensic accounting (Forensic Accounting: Tools for Financial Exploitation Investigations and Forensic Accounting: APS Program Panel Discussion), highlighting the basics of the practices and how it is used by programs throughout the U.S. A specific program from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services was also featured in a recent podcast focusing on improvement of financial exploitation investigations via forensic accounting and other practices.
These products and others will be featured in an upcoming toolkit from the APS TARC on forensic accounting.
For more about the APS TARC, visit: https://apstarc.acl.gov/