Seniors, Fraud and Protecting your Golden Years

Ah the golden years. If you are like most folks you are looking forward to a host of pleasures associated with being a senior. These might include lots of travel, time with the grandkids, giving back in some way and living a carefree life. It’s an exciting vision that unfortunately most seniors don’t ever get the chance to realize. So many things can derail your plans and keep you from achieving your goals in your golden years.

Crimes against seniors are on the rise 

Senior fraud is on the rise and can literally destroy your life. Many good people have been robbed of their hard earned life savings in the blink of an eye. According to Minnesota’s Attorney General Lori Swanson telemarketing fraud alone is a $40 billion a year business. The good news is that many government agencies have stepped up their efforts to keep ahead of this growing trend. 

Seek out resources for assistance

The National Council on Aging has designated a significant portion of their website to economic security for seniors. They recently posted a great article: Top 8 Ways to Protect Yourself from Scams. This article and the entire website are solid resources for both seniors and their families. The 8 tips are a common sense approach to being sure that you and your loved ones are aware of simple things you can do to protect your golden years and your financial assets. 

Be a skeptic 

My personal favorite in the Top 8 article is #8 – Be skeptical of all unsolicited offers and thoroughly do your research. An informed senior rarely becomes a victim of fraud or senior crime. Another comprehensive resource is this Senior Fraud Protection Kit available through

The internet is a helpful tool to research things like investment opportunities, organizations looking for donations or home care and nursing home options. The challenge is sifting through the volumes of information that a search produces and determining what is valid.

Ask for help 

Nothing can replace the sense of security you have knowing you can pick up the phone and call a trusted adviser. And remember, any request for your money or personal information can wait until you do your research and call your team. . 

Additional resources:

Posted on January 29, 2014 and filed under Personal Finance.