The United Nations has designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This day’s aim is to focus attention on the issue of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders.
The U.S. Census reports that by the year 2050, people over age 65 will make up approximately 20 percent of the population. Fighting elder fraud is not a competitive issue for FSR members – it’s a duty.
Find out below what the financial services industry is doing to encourage others to recognize the problem of elder abuse and create policies that prevent people from taking advantage of our older generations.
Fraud and financial abuse schemes targeting the elderly are a growing problem in the United States that cost victims at least $2.9 billion in 2010 alone.
With the evolution of technology, criminals are finding new ways to target the money of vulnerable consumers. The Financial Services Roundtable’s member companies are leaders in the elder fraud prevention field, working around the clock to aggressively identify red flags and hinder illicit criminal activity.
According to the Scam Awareness Alliance, popular corruption schemes include Romance Scams, where older, often lonely Americans conned into wiring money to an anonymous love interest they’ve met online. Other scams include Lottery Scams and Person-in-Need Scams, which are featured in the alliance’s series of online ads.
Why is the elder population the bulls-eye for fraudsters? Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA), a non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company, notes that the elder population is typically more trusting, likely to spend time alone, often inclined to answer their door and phone at home and are hesitant to report suspected fraud. Not only does Wells Fargo Advisors, provide guidance for the financial protection of older investors, but the bank is also at the forefront of collaboration, halting fraud before it occurs. WFA is gearing up to announce the development of a new division of 15,146 advisors represented from all 50 states, allowing elder financial abuse cases flow through a centralized point, enhancing the investigation and reporting process to state Adult Protective Service departments.