Protecting Our Aging Adults
Presented by the White House Conference on Aging
Older Adults are prime targets for financial exploitation both by persons they know and trust and by strangers. Financial exploitation has been called “the crime of the 21st century” with one study suggesting that older Americans lost at least $2.9 billion to financial exploitation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the FDIC have teamed up to help us do something about the financial abuse of the elderly.
Many cases of elder financial exploitation involve mild cognitive impairment which can reduce an older adult’s ability to make sound financial decisions. The cases tend to be very complex and can be difficult to investigate and prosecute. Elders who lose their life savings usually have little or no opportunity to regain what they have lost. The aging adult may lose the ability to live independently and experience a decline in health resulting in broken trust, and fractured families. Awareness and prevention are the first steps. Planning ahead for financial wellbeing along with a back-up plan in case something goes wrong is critical.
Reporting and early intervention that results in loss prevention are imperative. Money Smart for Older Adults is designed to provide you with information and tips to help prevent common frauds, scams and other types of elder financial exploitation in your community. Please share this information as appropriate.