How Can You Help Older Americans Avoid Fraud? Talk About It.

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, a day to learn the signs of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Yesterday, I participated in a day-long symposium at the White House on the role that financial exploitation plays in the wider problem of elder abuse.  

I spoke about the thousands of complaints that FTC receives every year from older consumers who have been the victims of financial frauds. And I talked about a small FTC-AARP pilot project that offers peer counseling to some older consumer who have been the victims of financial frauds. The counselors in the program describe victims who need to talk about their experiences, are ashamed and devastated about what happened to them, and terribly anxious about how they will get by after the substantial financial losses they have experienced. 

I also had a chance to talk about some of the ways the FTC is responding to the financial exploitation of older Americans. I described FTC cases that have successfully stopped financial fraud schemes targeting older consumers. The thousands of financial fraud complaints the FTC receives every year are used by FTC and by our law enforcement partners to enforce the laws that prevent financial scams and punish rip-off artists. If you want to report a scam or abusive financial practice to the FTC, you can do that at

I took time to describe the free consumer education resources the FTC offers. You can use these free resources to help you talk to an older person in your life about how to avoid fraud:

  • Common Online Scams: Looks at 12 angles con artists use to get people to send them money. 
  • Health-Related Scams: A website that helps people find reliable sources of information on health topics important to older consumers.
  • Reverse Mortgages: Educates people about the risks and benefits of reverse mortgages.
  • Staying Safe Online: The federal government’s website to help people be safe, secure and responsible online.
  • Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams: Explains that if you have to pay to get your prize, it’s a scam.
  • Telemarketing Scams: Look at different ways criminals use the phone to commit many different types of fraud.

The FTC has additional information to help you understand credit and money transfers, and avoid identity theft, foreclosure rescue scams, impersonation scams, romance scams, and phishing

Finally, I joined with other symposium attendees in recognizing how cooperation and collaboration among consumers, businesses, private organizations, and all levels of government, can make education and law enforcement efforts against financial exploitation of older Americans so much more effective. I hope you will join this effort by learning about the signs of financial exploitation; taking an interest in the activities of older family members and friends; and helping the FTC educate consumers about financial fraud and exploitation.   

Tagged with: scam, White House


I'm glad for giving this opportunity to make a comment on American elder froud.though this is a something happening every were in the world.My comment here is Government has to do something about comment here is lets poeple think wisely,to know the taste of right&rong,i pray for a better american.

Awareness of the different methods used by scammers to defraud older people is the key. Although the criminals are always updating their schemes, we should keep a step ahead of them.

This involves more than educating the elderly. In situations where Alzheimer's or dementia is involved, but where no adjudication of incompetence has been declared (often for the sake of the individual's sense of dignity), older people are often taken advantage of at cash registers and in customer service settings. They can be easily confused, and frequently unscrupulous individuals take advantage of an older customer (without the knowledge of the business, in many cases) because the opportunity presented itself. It's shameful.

I truly believe that older American citizens are being targeted for fraud and at a much faster rate. Due to internet and many other online tools required to navigate daily responsibilities, they can become drained and overwhelmed. Some cannot comprehend the level of skill needed to meet such requirements. I believe it has nothing to do with the lack of cognitive abilities’, as much as it does the lack of help. I feel that certain agencies should aggressively offer computer, online free education services.

For example, my Mother has 2wire internet, but linkeys will pop up. It has taken her some years just to understand the value of online password for email, less alone trying to understand the technical language of trouble shooting connection. It places her, like so many older Americans at a disadvantage. Just the fact of the culture shift impacts emotional confusion. Older Americans need help and free educational services for basic technical skills and explained why it is important.

Yery interesting, a great help to all of us ,Its a disgusting and dangerous world out there , would it help to devise a way to reverse the signal and destroy the sender. Ho, HO.

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