The nation needs an elder abuse awareness campaign, including information on how to prevent seniors from falling victim to financial fraud, according to a General Accountability Office study.

Financial fraud against the elderly can take longer to investigate than other types of senior abuse because financial records can be difficult to obtain and because it is often harder to prove than physical or emotional abuse, according to the GAO report released Wednesday.

In May, the federal Elder Justice Interagency Working Group recommended developing strategies for combating financial exploitation in collaboration with the financial industry. The recommendations included launching an elder justice Web site and a national awareness campaign.

GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, said a national campaign should be run jointly by the U.S. Health and Human Services and Justice departments.