At least one in five Americans over the age of 65 has been the victim of
financial abuse and/or financial fraud, according to a June 15, 2010 press
release issued by the Investor Protection Trust. That's approximately
7.3 million Americans exploited.
The numbers come from a new Investor Protection Trust (IPT) survey conducted
by Infogroup/ORC, which surveyed over 2,000 American adults. The survey
indicated that half of older American adults "exhibit one or more
warning signs of current financial victimization" such as being the
target of financial schemes. The survey also indicated that almost 50%
of older American adults lack basic investment knowledge.
The survey, released to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, provides
evidence for what the IPT considers an urgent need: partnership between
IPT, the North American Securities Administrators Association, the National
Adult Protective Services Association, and leading U.S. medical associations
(such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Area
Health Education Center Organization and the National Association of Geriatric
The partnership would, according to the June 15 press release, help prevent
the financial abuse of older Americans by both educating medical professionals
about warning signs that could signal vulnerability to financial schemes
and referring instances of abuse to state securities regulators.
Don Blandin, IPT President and CEO, was quoted as saying: "We now
know that a shockingly large number of older Americans are already victims
of financial swindles and millions more are in danger of being exploited
in such a fashion."