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Senior Investors Often Targeted For Investment Fraud, New Survey Shows

Recently, the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) released a timely survey entitled ‘Seniors & Financial Exploitation’ (the “Survey”).  The Survey, which was conducted among NASAA’s membership of 67 state, provincial and territorial securities administrators in all 50 States, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, in addition to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico, asked a number of pertinent questions surrounding the issue of elder financial abuse and senior investor exploitation.

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With respect to the Survey, 36 regulators from member organizations provided formal responses.  Among the Survey data gathered from the Respondents were the following questions and answers:

  • Would you say there is greater awareness of the investment fraud or exploitation risks seniors face now than there was a year ago?
    • 97% responded Yes.
  • In the past year, has your agency seen an increase or decrease in cases or complaints involving senior financial fraud or exploitation?
    • 29% responded that they have seen an increase in senior financial exploitation (69% responded that the number of cases or complaints was about the same).
  • In your opinion, are broker-dealers and investment advisers doing enough to prevent senior fraud?
    • 75% responded No.
  • Which generation do you feel is most vulnerable to financial fraud?
    • 82% responded that the Silent Generation (those individuals in their 70’s and 80’s) were most at risk of financial exploitation or elder abuse.
  • In your opinion, do you feel most cases of senior financial fraud or exploitation go undetected until too late?
    • More than 95% responded Yes.

The Survey is troubling and points to a growing, but as yet, inadequately addressed problem.  Even with the increased recognition of elder financial abuse and senior financial exploitation as demonstrated by NASAA’s Survey, the statistics nevertheless paint a gloomy picture and call for increased regulatory action and enforcement to protect senior investors from unscrupulous and predatory individuals.  Of great concern is the Survey’s conclusion that most cases of elder financial abuse or senior exploitation go undetected until too late.  Furthermore, the Survey suggests that the brokerage industry has far more work to do in order to ensure that senior investors are properly protected.

The attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C.  have significant experience in representing senior investors who have suffered losses due to financial fraud, in addition to losses related to the misconduct or malfeasance of brokerage firms and their associated wealth advisers or brokers.  Investors may be able to recover their losses in FINRA arbitration, and in some instances, through litigation.   Investors with questions about their legal rights and options may contact a securities arbitration lawyer at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. at (866) 966-9598 or via email at for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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