According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, elder financial fraud has quadrupled from 2013 to 2017. The report also found that the average amount that is defrauded on an individual basis is substantial, with seniors ages 70 to 79 years old averaging $43,000 each in losses. However, this number is even higher in scams where the elder was related to or knew the scammer. So, how can elder financial fraud be prevented?
When it was brought to light that Stan Lee’s manager and caretaker had defrauded the legend for over $5 million, the concern about elder financial fraud escalated. Lawmakers have since passed the Senior Security Act, which includes plans to create a speciality task force at the SEC responsible for preventing this type of fraud from occurring.
Cases like these where the elder involved was defrauded by a trusted friend or family member are only continuing to grow. Meanwhile, there are other forms of elder financial fraud that are increasing. These include telemarketing scams, which involve callers pressing the individuals for immediate payments on non-existent bills or fees. Internet and email scams are also a growing problem and often involve tricking the elderly into making online payments or giving out personal information.