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“Money Smart for Older Adults” to Help Elders Avoid Scams

Michael Rapp Sept. 9, 2014

Every year, millions of Americans are victims of identity theft and financial scams. While criminals typically don’t discriminate their targets, the elderly are usually a top choice.

The FDIC and Consumer Federal Protection Bureau have teamed up in an effort to protect seniors (age 62 and older) from falling victim. The initiative, “Money Smart for Older Adults”, is a free resource that educates the elderly on how to identity possible scams, and also steps to take to protect themselves.

The FDIC and CFPB believe that seniors are targeted by criminals because of their “mild cognitive impairment which can diminish an [their] ability to make sound financial decisions.” The two organizations also believe that elders are typically more trusting in nature, and thus, are more susceptible to being scammed.

The most common methods that criminals use to take advantage of seniors are “telephone scams, identity theft, medical identity theft, homeowner reverse mortgage scams, and scams that target veterans benefits”. In addition, the free resource also provides information on how to make sound financial decisions.

FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg believes that all consumers, including children of seniors who are caretakers for their elderly parents, could learn a thing or do from the guide.

The FDIC and CFPB hope that the “Money Smart for Older Adults” project helps cut down the number of seniors who are taken advantage of.

The full downloadable resource can be downloaded here.