|Increase in Fraud against Elderly Relatives in UK|
According to a survey, fraud committed within families by relatives increased by a factor of five last year. Data seems to indicate that, in the majority of cases, an elderly person is defrauded by a younger relative. The survey found that elderly relatives had a total of GBP1.7 million stolen from them by younger members of the family.
The most common perpetrator of fraud in the family was the so-called 'baby boomer'. According to the report '72% of familial fraud was committed by fraudsters aged over 45' who suggests 'perhaps frustrated by the increasingly common wait to receive their inheritance, seemingly took matters into their own hands'.
The survey measures major fraud cases heard in the UK's Crown Courts. In one such case, a man stole his mother's GBP600,000 savings after realising he was not the main recipient in her will. In another, a woman stole her father's savings after being granted power of attorney, leaving his care home bills unpaid.
People are living longer, the people who are choosing to remove uncertainties about when or if they will get their inheritance by fraudulent means', commented KPMG's forensic partner Hitesh Patel. He believes such case reports are 'the tip of the iceberg', because the victims of such frauds often do not report them, preferring to 'keep it in the family'.
Another factor is the rapid growth of power of attorney registrations, which have more than doubled in the last four years. Almost 350,000 were registered in the financial year ending April 2015, up from 150,000 in 2011.
The opinions expressed do not constitute investment advice and specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Published on our website on Aug.12, 2015