• Toll Free in NC: 1-877-566-7226
  • Outside NC: 919-716-6000

Protecting Seniors

North Carolina law protects disabled adults of any age from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The law states that “any person having reasonable cause to believe that a disabled adult is in need of protective services shall report such information.” Definitions are:

Abuse:  willful infliction of physical pain, injury or mental anguish, unreasonable confinement, or the willful deprivation by a caretaker of services necessary to maintain mental and physical health

Neglect:  a disabled adult who is either living alone and not able to provide the services necessary to maintain mental or physical health (self-neglect), or who is not receiving services from his caretaker

Exploitation:  illegal or improper use of a disabled adult or his resources for another’s profit or advantage (NOTE:  State law now offers extra protections to combat financial exploitation of disabled adults and adults 65 and older. Under the law, customers of financial institutions can submit a list of persons to be contacted if the institution suspects that the customer is a victim or target of financial exploitation. The institution is also required to report the suspected exploitation to local law enforcement. If the suspected victim is a disabled adult, the financial institution is required to report to the contact list, local law enforcement, and the county Department of Social Services.)

Health Care Fraud

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Investigations Unit prosecutes fraud, patient abuse, and embezzlement in Medicaid-funded facilities.

Learn how to spot and report Medicaid fraud and abuse (coming soon).

How to Report Abuse

Report abuse to your local Department of Social Services in the county where the disabled or older adult lives. For additional help, call the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services CARE-LINE toll free within North Carolina at (800) 662-7030.

If you have questions about the laws that protect senior citizens or your legal rights as a senior citizen, contact our Public Protection Section experts at (919) 716-6780 or publicprotection@ncdoj.gov.

Help with Scams

Attorney General Josh Stein and the Department of Justice are shutting down scams and warning North Carolinians about frauds targeted to seniors.

Many victims of elder fraud are hesitant to come forward, but our Consumer Protection Division is here to help.

If you or a loved one is a victim of a scam, report it to our office online at ncdoj.gov or by phone at (877) 5-NO-SCAM.