There is a need for strong protection of the elderly investing population. About one out of every five Americans 65 years and older has been a victim of financial abuse. The elderly are estimated to lose up to $2.9 billion per year from scams. In fact, these figures are likely lower than the actual incidence of fraud since only reported accounts of frauds are considered and seniors are “less likely” to report being scammed.
Elders are abused by a variety of persons including family members, caregivers, scam artists, financial advisers, fiduciaries (such as agents under power of attorney and guardians), and others. Usually the person is already in a position of trust or is able to acquire a high level of trust due to the diminished capacity of the victim.
Now a new survey of state securities regulators by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), released on National Senior Citizens Day, shows that more need to be done in order to protect seniors from financial fraud. The NASAA’s polled its members and represents the views of securities regulators who are local state regulators of investment advisors.