Earlier this month, a Washington-based consumer financial education organization released the results of a survey it conducted where in it interviewed professionals who routinely deal with financial elder abuse or financial scams.
The Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit organization, interviewed 762 professionals from the financial sector, as well as healthcare professionals, social workers and others. A majority of these workers, 58%, stated that they encounter financial elder abuse or fraud at least somewhat often or quite often in their work. 70% of them also stated that they believe the exploitation of elderly Americans and their finances is a very serious problem.
The release of the survey data follows a recent announcements by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stating it would begin a public inquiry into investigating the ways senior citizens are being financially taken advantage of. The Bureau is a recently formed federal agency created to guard the interests of consumers.
Previous survey data released by the investor protection trust showed that about 20% of people over the age of 65 have recently been subjected to some type of financial abuse. Abuse ranges from outright scams to excessive fees for financial advice or financial services.
For children with elderly parents, the previous survey showed that about 40% were either very or somewhat concerned that their parents would become less able to manage their own finances. About 36% of elderly parents share those same concerns.