Fraud targeting the elderly is getting worse: survey

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter James Langton Keywords Elderly,  Financial abuse Shining a spotlight on elder abuse awareness RBC Wealth partners with National Institute on Aging Vulnerable clients the focus of regulators Related news In the new survey, the IPT reports that 58% of respondents say they deal with elderly victims of investment fraud/financial exploitation “quite often” or “somewhat often”; 70% view the problem of elderly investment fraud/financial exploitation as “very serious”, and 26% say its “somewhat serious”; 96% say that “potential problems with mental comprehension make seniors more vulnerable” to financial swindles “very often” or “quite often”; 75% say that older Americans are “very vulnerable”, and 24% say they are “somewhat vulnerable” to financial swindles; and, 93% say that medical professionals can play a “very” or “somewhat” important role “when they are trained to spot and report the warning signs of elderly investment fraud/financial exploitation.” The survey was conducted online during the first 10 days of June. “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,” said Don Blandin, president and CEO of the IPT. “That’s why we have already trained 3,000 U.S. medical professionals who deal everyday with older Americans to spot the impaired mental capacity that can leave seniors vulnerable to financial abuse. We want to head off financial swindles before the damage is done.” Robert Lam, chairman of both the Investor Protection Institute (an independent non-profit that supports investor protection research and education) and the Pennsylvania Securities Commission, said, “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, APS 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.” “State securities agencies deserve credit for being able to think outside of the box and take an important new tack in reducing the scourge of elder investment scams. Working together, clinicians and investor educators can make a difference,” added Dr. Robert Roush, director, Texas Consortium Geriatric Education Center, Huffington Center on Aging, Baylor College of Medicine. Financial abuse of the elderly is a growing problem and medical professionals and others who deal with the elderly can help fight it, suggests a new survey. Survey results released Wednesday by the Investor Protection Trust (IPT), a U.S. non-profit devoted to investor education, finds that 84% of workers who often deal with the elderly (including securities regulators, financial planners, adult protective services workers, and medical professionals) say that the problem of swindles targeting the elderly is getting worse. A 2010 survey by the group found that about 20% of those over the age of 65 had already been victimized by a financial swindle. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media read more

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