Guarding at-risk seniors from investment fraud the focus of initiative that involves 22 states and administered locally by Secretary of State’s office
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 18, 2011) A national initiative in partnership with Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White’s Indiana Investment Watch program will begin on Wednesday with the goal of protecting at-risk seniors from investment scams and financial abuse.
The Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation (EIFFE) Prevention Program is an unprecedented effort involving 22 states to educate medical professionals about how to spot seniors who might be vulnerable to investment fraud due to mental impairment and how to refer them to securities regulators and adult protective services professionals.
The financial and physical well-being of Indiana’s seniors go hand in hand. The Secretary of State’s Securities Division is committed to protecting seniors’ financial vitality while healthcare professionals are focused on their mental and physical health.
“We are excited to bring the EIFFE Prevention Program to Indiana and join forces with medical professionals who are working directly with seniors,” Indiana Securities Commissioner Chris Naylor said. “The more awareness that can be brought to screening senior patients for signs of financial abuse, the more likely our office will be able to help potential Hoosier victims before it’s too late.”
Senior citizens have long been the target of investment scam artists. According to the 2010 Investor Protection Trust (IPT) Elder Fraud Survey, more than 7 million older Americans – one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 – have been victimized by a financial swindle. Additionally, about a third of residents in the United States over the age of 71 have mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease, making them more susceptible to investment scams and other financial abuse.
The goal for the program includes a two-pronged approach: to train medical professionals to screen for risk factors that make seniors more susceptible to fraud or being financially exploited; and to educate those in the medical field on the resources available to help potential victims. Indiana Investment Watch is partnering with the Indiana University Center for Aging Research to host continuing medical education workshops later in the year.
Representatives from the office will preview the EIFFE Prevention Program with the Continuity of Care Group from 2 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at the Greenleaf Health Campus in Elkhart.
About the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program
Based on a successful pilot program in Texas, the EIFFE Prevention Program is a collaboration between the Investor Protection Trust, the Investor Protection Institute, the North American Securities Administrators Association and the National Adult Protective Services Association in cooperation with leading U.S. medical associations. For more information, go to http://www.investorprotection.org/.
About Indiana Investment Watch
Indiana Investment Watch educates Hoosiers about the various types of investment and mortgage fraud and promotes financial literacy in Hoosiers of all ages. The program is not funded by taxpayer dollars, but rather by the money collected from settlements in securities fraud cases.
For more information, please visit http://www.indianainvestmentwatch.com/. If you feel you have been the victim of investment fraud, please call the Secretary of State’s Securities Division at (800) 223-8791.
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