According to the Financial Fraud Research Center at the Stanford Center on Longevity, the elderly are 12% of the population and 30% of overall scam victims.
As the elderly population increases, financial scams are due to increase as well. This reality necessitates, especially for adult children who will be the next generation of elderly patrons, an unprecedented awareness. There are numerous websites available that address these anxieties and proffer means by which to prevent them.
the website affiliated with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, offers numerous worksheets, advice and general breakdown of best financial practices. The “Baby Boomer and Investment Fraud Research Findings” pdf (http://www.saveandinvest.org/web/groups/sai/@sai/documents/sai_original_content/p120580.pdf) offers a thorough overview of mistakes made by baby boomers, effectively creating a what-not-to-do list. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also lists means by which to avoid scams. http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/seniors
As an adult child, systematically reviewing Mom’s or Dad’s finances can make all the difference. The elderly are targeted for a combination of factors, a main one being that there tends to be no oversight stemming from them or their families. This includes checking the registration status of both a financial professional and product. In addition, the FBI warns of scams that run the gamut: from fake medications, health care fraud, to reverse mortgage schemes. Caregivers can be trained to triple check medications and ultimately, investigations of the other matters will have to occur to be on the safe side. Preemptive actions are best policy: waiting until something happens will make it harder to deal with.