What is one of America's biggest fraud problems?
Answer: The estimated one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 who have been victimized by a financial swindle.
However, help for potential financial swindle victims is on the way. On Nov. 10, a national hotline for seniors and adult children of the elderly will be launched by several groups, including financial advisors, to provide seniors financial, medical and financial fraud advice.
The hotline is a collaboration of the National Adult Protective Services Association (Napsa), the Financial Planning Association (FPA), Baylor College of Medicine, the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) and the Investor Protection Institute (IPI). Kiplinger's Personal Finance is also a partner in the project.
A survey conducted by Investor Protection Trust in June 2010 estimated that 7.3 million older Americans - one out of every five citizens 65 and older - have been victims of financial scams.
"The FPA and its members are pleased to participate in a national hotline initiative that will help protect our vulnerable senior population,'' said FPA Executive Director and CEO Marvin W. Tuttle, Jr., "We applaud the Investor Protection Institute for recognizing a serious issue in our society and bringing us together to provide much needed assistance to the elderly.''
NAPSA Executive Director Kathleen Quinn said the IPT hotline will serve as a "positive tool for victims of elder financial exploitation and family members, while at the same time providing a channel to communicate professional advice and awareness nationwide.''
Of particular concern are seniors with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who can perform most daily functions, but have trouble with or sometimes become confused when managing their finances.
The toll-free hotline will operate three separate call-in lines - covering general finance, medical, and financial abuse questions -- from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST. The following hotlines will be staffed by professionals who can address issues raised by callers and, if necessary, provide referrals.
General Finance Questions: (888-227-1776) Callers can speak to experts from the Financial Planning Association about their family financial security.