Preventing Financial Elder Exploitation

Preventing Financial Elder Exploitation

The nonprofit Investor Protection Trust (IPT) recently surveyed 762 securities regulators, adult protective services workers, medical professionals, law-enforcement officials and others on the “front lines,” and discovered these alarming statistics:

  • 58 percent of the respondents said they deal with elderly victims of investment fraud and financial exploitation “quite often” or “somewhat often.”
  • 96 percent of the experts say the problem of financial swindles that target the elderly is “very serious” or “somewhat serious.”

An earlier IPT survey found that over seven million older Americans have already been victimized by a financial swindle—that’s one in five people over age 65! IPS president Don Blandin says, “The message from those on the front lines of investor protection is clear: swindles targeting older Americans are a bigger problem today than ever before.”

The IPT has sponsored the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention program, which educates doctors and other medical professionals to be alert for signs that a senior patient is being victimized, or might be at risk of investment fraud due to cognitive impairment or other reason. IPS chairman Robert Lam says, “We need to recognize that there is a medical component to elderly investment fraud that cannot be addressed solely by regulators. As state agencies, we need to combine our efforts with the unique front-line perspective of doctors, adult protective services and other professionals to get help to victims, and those most at risk of becoming victims, at the earliest possible point. Together, we can do an even better job of protecting our seniors and their money.”

To learn more about preventing financial elder abuse, view the “Elder Investment Fraud: a National Epidemic” video on the IPT website.

Source: AgeWise reporting on Investor Protection Institute (www.protectinvestors.org) survey results .