HARRISBURG, Pa., June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- When most people hear the term "elder abuse" they think of someone causing physical pain to a senior citizen but now the Pennsylvania Securities Commission (PSC) is teaming up with doctors and medical professionals to warn of an under-recognized and underreported form -- financial fraud.
The announcement of the initiative is tied to the observance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, on Tuesday, June 15. The need for more awareness is underscored by a survey just released by the national Investor Protection Trust that shows that more than 7.3 million older Americans – one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 – already have been victimized by a financial swindle.
The PSC is joining forces with state securities regulators, physicians and adult protective services (APS) workers to educate medical professionals and other caregivers about how to identify seniors who may be vulnerable to financial abuse. Professionals who provide elder care will learn how to refer at-risk seniors to the appropriate authorities, whether it is to report investment fraud to securities regulators, suspected abuse to adult protective services workers or symptoms of mild cognitive impairment to physicians.
"Investment fraud against seniors often goes unreported, but by teaming up with clinicians and APS workers to give voice to the silent victims, the PSC will have more information to investigate and prosecute those who financially exploit our nation's seniors," Acting Chairman Robert M. Lam said.
The PSC's partner organizations include the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), Investor Protection Trust and the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), in cooperation with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Area Health Education Center Organization and the National Association of Geriatric Education Centers.
The campaign features two new resources:
- Clinicians' Pocket Guide. A quick reference tool for medical practitioners outlining the red flags of investment fraud, tips for discussing financial capacity with senior patients and resources for reporting suspected abuse.
- Patient Brochure. An investor education resource for senior patients and their families highlighting ways to protect themselves from elder financial fraud and where to get help.
To learn more about how the PSC is working to protect investors, visit us online at www.psc.state.pa.us or call 1-800-600-0007.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Securities Commission