Survey: One in five seniors swindled in financial fraud

Survey: One in five seniors - 7 million - swindled in financial fraud
Survey: One in five seniors - 7 million - swindled in financial fraud

One of out every five citizens 65 or older -- more than 7.3 million Americans -- have been swindled, according to a survey released today by the Investor Protection Trust (IPT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to investor education.

(See the top five scams targeting seniors.)

To combat this problem, the IPT joined forces with state securities regulators, adult protective services workers and medical professionals to help physicians spot older Americans especially susceptible to investment fraud.

The survey, released to mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, questioned 2,022 American adults -- including 706 adult children with at least one parent aged 65 or older and 590 adults who are aged 65 or older and have children. Some of the survey's key findings include the following:

  • Half of older Americans exhibit one or more of the warning signs of financial victimization (such as being pitched to buy some product), while only 19% of adult children believe their parents are being pressured in such a fashion.

  • Almost half those aged 65 or over (44%) got at least two out of four questions about basic investment knowledge wrong.