Elder Financial Abuse Growing Epidemic
With more than 7.3 million Americans over the age of 65 admitting they have been financially swindled, state securities regulators are teaming up on a number of fronts to stop con artists in their tracks.
Launched today, the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation prevention campaign aims to educate medical professionals on how to spot older Americans who may be particularly vulnerable to financial abuse and then refer suspected investment fraud involving them to state securities regulators and local adult protective service agencies.
Several red flags include recent changes in appearance, if an elderly person has given a durable power of attorney to someone, if they have asked to change their will or if they are depressed.
The Investor Protection Trust, North American Securities Administrators Association and the National Adult Protective Services Association in cooperation with leading several medical associations are involved in the campaign. The announcement comes to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
According to an IPT survey of 2,200 participants released today, 31% said they feel vulnerable to being victimized because they are isolated from other people, are depressed or have other mental problems, are dependent on someone else to take care of them or are in bereavement.