Elder fraud is depressingly common. Because of a combination of factors – social isolation, potential cognitive decline, and many others – older Americans are especially vulnerable to all sorts of fraud and theft. This happens to millions of people every year.
Maine, where I live, is the oldest and most rural state in the country. Because of it’s rural nature, many seniors are essentially on their own.
When I moved up here, I had to attend a class as part of the advisor licensing process. As far as I know, Maine is the only state that requires this.
The class served a couple purposes: you get to know some of the state’s financial regulators (it’s a small state), to tell you not to commit elder fraud (which should go without saying, but apparently some people need a reminder), and to make sure that you know the warning signs of elder fraud. It’s great that they have the class, but depressing that it’s necessary.
There are a lot of resources out there, but a good place to start learning more about how to protect yourself or your relatives is the Department of Justice’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
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