Almost One in Five Seniors Has Been Hit by Financial Swindles

  • Study finds modest improvement compared with 2010 survey
  • Seniors are becoming better educated in financial matters

Seventeen percent of Americans over the age of 65, or 6.8 million people, have been taken advantage of financially through high fees, inappropriate investments or outright fraud, according to a new survey. 

The findings, the results of a survey done by Public Policy Polling for the Investor Protection Trust, represented an improvement over a similar study taken in 2010, which discovered 20 percent of seniors had been victimized. Investor Protection Trust is a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education and protection.

Those involved in the study said seniors, over time, have become better educated about financial matters, and that both the children and health-care providers of seniors are more aware of medical problems that might diminish older people’s ability to make decisions about money.

“While it is still alarming to see that nearly one out of five older Americans have been victims of financial swindles, it is encouraging that doctors and adult children are more tuned into this problem,” Don Blandin, president of Investor Protection Trust, said in a statement released Tuesday.

The latest survey was based on information provided by 3,672 people, including 2,257 senior citizens and 703 adult children with at last one parent over 65.