Crimes Against Seniors and Vulnerable Adults Unit (CASVA)

The State’s Attorney’s Office defines crimes against seniors as any criminal act involving a victim who is 65 years of age or older. For financial exploitation cases, the senior has to be 68 years of age or older or vulnerable. A vulnerable adult is an individual over the age of 18 who lacks the physical and/or mental capacity to provide for their daily needs. Crimes against seniors/vulnerable adults may be physical, sexual or financial.

What is Elder/Vulnerable Adult Abuse?

  • Physical, sexual or psychological abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment or financial exploitation of another person or entity
  • Can occur in any setting such as a home, community of facility
  • An older person is targeted based on age or disability

What is Financial Exploitation?

  • Financial exploitation is defined at the illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets.
  • Examples include: cashing an elderly person’s check without permission, forging an older person’s signature, misusing or stealing an elder’s money or possessions, coercing or deceiving the senior into signing documents (contracts, wills, etc.) and improper use of conservator-ship, guardianship, or power of attorney.

Elder Abuse by the Numbers

  • Between 2-5 million older Americans experience abuse over one year, and many experienced it in multiple forms
  • Elder abuse is under-reported nationwide and in Montgomery County – a May 2011 study found that one in every 24 cases of physical abuse or neglect involving a senior was reported to Adult Protective Service, law enforcement or other authorities.
  • The same study found that only 1 out of every 44 cases of financial exploitation was reported.

Crimes Against Seniors and Vulnerable Adults Unit Brochures

Crimes Against Seniors and Vulnerable Adults Unit Brochure

To download Brochure click on the desired language

English, Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese

News Clips:

Elderly couple who were victimized by a woodchuck scam and a successful prosecution by our office:!/news/local/Senior-Citizens-Speak-Out-About-Abuse-of-the-Elderly/306846601

NCEA Red Flags of abuse and other awareness materials:


The 2011 MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse findings

Administration on Aging released their Profile of Older Americans: 2014 recently.

1 out of every 7 persons is over 65 in the United States

Population over 65 has grown about 24% over the last 10 years while population under 65 has grown only by about 7%. Maryland growth rate slightly higher at 27%

Life expectancy for those now aged 65 is an additional 20 yrs.

Over 12 million of those over 65, live alone.


Hang Up on investment Fraud

White House conference on aging article:

Fact Sheet:

Swindlers target older women on dating websites

Romance Scams:

Couple Nearly Loses $200K in Home Repair Scam:

Links to additional resources:

National Center on Elder Abuse

NCEA | Home (

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

United States Postal Inspection Service

United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

United States Department of Justice (DOJ)

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

Elder Justice Resources

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Saving and Investing

initiative of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network

National Commitee for the Prevention of Elder abuse (NCPEA)

World Health Organization

Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse & Neglect

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Frequently Asked Questions

Victim Services


Internet Crimes

Protective Orders

Contact a member of the State's Attorney's Office Special Victims Division Staff