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Fraud Against Elderly « Fraud

Elder Financial Abuse


Articles, Publications and Organizations & Services
About Fraud – Financial Exploitation of the Elderly



Articles re: Fraud Against Elderly

  • Businessman Stole Tens of Thousands (Traverse City Record-Eagle – 3/29/09)
    A prominent local businessman helped himself to an elderly German immigrant's finances.
  • Census Fraud (Consumer – 8/23/07)
    Seniors targeted by mailer asking for information…and credit card numbers.
  • Elder Financial Abuse Reaches “Epidemic” Proportion (Reuters Money – 6/3/11)
    Actor Mickey Rooney, now in his 90s, elevated the profile of the problem earlier this year when he won a restraining order against his stepchildren. He claimed they used intimidation to get access to his money and later told Congress how that can happen to a vulnerable senior.
  • Elder Abuses (Investment Fraud Lawyer Blog – Feb. 2008)
    Stockbrokers and financial advisors often target seniors for "free" investment seminars in hopes of obtaining new business relationships. Many so-called "senior advisors" use misleading professional designations to engender trust.
  • Help Me Grandma Scam (Graceful Aging)
    Shame on criminals. A sadly popular scam involves a late night phone call jarring sleep with a plaintive plea for help. A grandson or granddaughter has been arrested or involved in an accident. They need your immediate help with money. The problem? It’s all fake to get steal your money. FBI Special Agent Sandra Berchtold shows what to look out for and do.
  • Justice for All: Ending Elder Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation
    United States Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing – March 2, 2011 (includes link to video)
    The committee hearing focused on elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. Among the witnesses providing testimony was Mickey Rooney, actor, elder abuse victim and advocate.
  • Marketers Use Trickery to Evade No-Call Lists (Wall Street Journal – 10/26/07)
    Older Americans around the country are getting duped by a seemingly innocuous tactic that can expose them to hard-sell pitches from the insurance industry.
  • Savvy Seniors' Guide to Avoiding Financial Scams ( – 4/6/12)
    Nobody likes to be fooled out of their money but, unfortunately, there are unscrupulous strangers and family members who prey on seniors. The good news is that seniors can outwit these financial scammers and protect financial assets with a few common-sense tips. Seniors do not like being suspicious, especially about family members, but being financially savvy can deter scammers.
  • Scams Against Seniors (
    A special issue on a few scams that are more often committed against seniors, either because the scam artists will have greater success if they target someone older or because seniors seem to fall for them more often.
  • Senior Scams (Skepticblog – 2/28/09)
    Senior scamming is on the rise. Anyone of any age could be taken in by the nefarious scams taking place across America, but because of their inherent isolation or shame of losing money to these schemes, seniors are even more prone to becoming victims.
  • Social Media and Investing Tips for Seniors (SEC)
    The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issued this bulletin to provide seniors who use social media with a few tips to help them do so more safely and to help them avoid investment fraud.
  • The Color of Money (Washington Post – 7/16/09)
    Fraud is bad enough, but when you have family members or caregivers who are financially abusing their elderly relatives or patients, that's downright despicable.
    Patti's Comments: We should stop scam artists from fleecing everyone – but especially those with disabilities and seniors!
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – What's That? (WISER)
    If you have not yet heard about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), you could be missing out on great new resources to help you protect and grow your financial assets.
  • The Gulag of Guardianship (CNN Money)
    The legal system that is supposed to protect our frail elderly is a national disgrace. All too often it strips them of their rights and leaves them open to financial abuse.
  • They Can't Hang Up (
    According to the National Consumers League's National Fraud Information Center, nearly a third of all telemarketing fraud victims are age 60 or older. Studies by AARP show that most older telemarketing fraud victims don’t realize that the voice on the phone could belong to someone who is trying to steal their money.
  • Top 10 Financial Scams Targeting Seniors 
    Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered “the crime of the 21st century.”

Publications re: Fraud Against Elderly

  • Advisory to Financial Institutions on Filing Suspicious Activity Reports Regarding Elder Financial Exploitation (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network – 2/22/11)
    Financial institutions can play a key role in addressing elder financial exploitation due to the nature of the client relationship. Often, financial institutions are quick to suspect elder financial exploitation based on bank personnel familiarity with their elderly customers.
  • Broken Trust: Elders, Family & Finances (MetLife)
    Elder financial exploitation is a growing reality that makes the financial assets of elders and their families vulnerable. This collaborative effort between the MMI and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) provides a cutting-edge synthesis of and insights on the extent of the problem and best research and practice efforts to date addressing both causation and prevention. 
  • Grandparent Phone Scam Puts Seniors at High Risk
    Americans age 65 and older are at particular risk because fraudsters know they typically own a home and have a "nest egg" built up. And are generally too polite and trusting to hang up on a caller.
  • Guardianships: Cases of Financial Exploitation, Neglect, and Abuse of Seniors (U.S. Government Accountability Office – 9/30/10)
    As individuals age, some become incapable of managing their personal and financial affairs. To protect these individuals, state laws provide for court appointment of guardians, who may be professionals or family members, to protect the incapacitated person's personal and/or financial welfare. Previous GAO reports have found that poor communication between state courts and federal agencies may allow guardians to continue abusing their victims.
  • Investor Fraud Study Final Report (NASD Investor Education Foundation – 5/12/06)
    A study that investigated the issue of consumer fraud that targets older Americans.

Organizations & Services re: Fraud Against Elderly

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    The central mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.
  • Elder Financial Protection Network (Be Wise Online)
    Elder financial abuse is a crime. It involves the wrongful taking of money or property, whether through fraud, scams, predatory caretakers or family, or others. An estimated $2.6 billion is stolen annually from elders. You can learn to protect yourself and those you love.
  • Elder Protection Roundtable (Essex County)
    A partnership of law enforcement, healthcare, victim & elder service agencies working together to increase awareness and prevention of elder financial exploitation and fraud.
  • Financial Elder Abuse Resources (WISER)
    Financial elder abuse is an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of individuals in the elderly community each year. In an effort to try and combat and educate all women about this devastating financial problem WISER has compiled a list of helpful resources and links.
  • Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
    The U.S. Department of the Treasury established the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in 1990 to provide a government-wide multisource financial intelligence and analysis network. The organization's operation was broadened in 1994 to include regulatory responsibilities for administering the Bank Secrecy Act, one of the nation's most potent weapons for preventing corruption of the U.S. financial system.
  • Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
    Older Americans face many financial challenges as they age. They have opportunities to travel, explore new fields of work or hobbies, or spend time with family and friends. But often scam artists or bad advice take away these opportunities. The Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans is here to give seniors information and tools to navigate safely through financial challenges.

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