On June 12 the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and Consumer financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) jointly launched a new financial resource tool, “Money Smart for Older Adults”, with the goal of helping older adults and their caregivers prevent elder financial exploitation. Money Smart for Older Adults provides information to raise awareness among older adults (defined as age 62 and older) and their caregivers on how to prevent, identify and respond to elder financial exploitation, plan for a secure financial future, and make informed financial decisions. However, the contents of this publication will be useful for all consumers.
Money Smart for Older Adults is available in a downloadable format free of charge on the FDIC website at https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/olderadult.html. A participant/resource guide is also available at http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201306_cfpb_msoa-participant-guide.pdf.
“Each year millions of senior citizens are targeted for financial exploitation, … this program will provide a new resource to help older adults avoid being victims of this type of elder abuse” said FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg. CFPB Director Richard Cordray added: “By working together with the FDIC on Money Smart for Older Adults, we will be better able to educate and empower seniors to avoid being victimized. We also will provide excellent new resources to the caretaker generation of people like myself, to be better able to protect an elderly parent against such abuses.”
Money Smart for Older Adults contains information on common types of financial exploitation of older adults, such as telephone scams, identity theft, medical identity theft, homeowner reverse mortgage scams, and scams that target veterans benefits, and gives advice on how to avoid being victimized. It also provides advice on how to plan for unexpected financial needs and disasters. Although Money Smart for Older Adults is directed at older adults and their caregivers, the types of financial exploitation discussed and the advice given are applicable to all consumers, regardless of age.