Pity the older people. They just can’t catch a break. Preyed upon by relatives, caregivers and con men, they are also, experts say, ill equipped to choose someone to advise them on their finances.
According to a new survey of 756 experts conducted by the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) and Investor Protection Institute (IPI) in response to questions posed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), elders may be wiser in many ways, but not when it comes to money.
The results of an online poll of experts including state securities regulators, financial planners, health care professionals, social workers, adult protective services, law enforcement officials, elder law attorneys, academics and others indicate that 65% of respondents deal with elderly victims of investment fraud or financial exploitation. Three-quarters of those respondents said that financial swindles were a “very serious” problem, and 78% said older Americans were “very vulnerable” to such tactics.
Respondents cited the top three financial scams as “theft or diversion of funds or property by family members,” 79%; “theft or diversion of funds or property by caregivers,” 49%; and “financial scams perpetrated by strangers,” 47%.