On Thursday, November 15, Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) will hold a hearing entitled, “America’s Invisible Epidemic: Preventing Elder Financial Abuse.”

Senior citizens have long been the target of financial abuse and investment scams. According to the 2010 Investor Protection Trust (IPT) Elder Fraud Survey, more than seven million older Americans – one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 – already have been victimized by a financial scam. In addition, a 2011 MetLife study found the annual financial loss by victims of elder financial abuse is estimated to be at least $2.9 billion dollars, a 12 percent increase from the $2.6 billion estimated in 2008. More recently, IPT released the June 2012 findings of a survey showing that the vast majority – 84 percent – of experts dealing with investment fraud/financial exploitation of older Americans agree that the problem of scams targeting the elderly is getting worse today.

This hearing will focus on prevention efforts to combat elder financial abuse through new federal, state and private sector initiatives. Frank Abagnale, whose early life was the subject of the best-selling memoir and blockbuster film “Catch Me If You Can,” will be among the witnesses testifying. Additionally, the Government Accountability Office will discuss and release a new report looking at ways to fight elder financial abuse.

WHAT:          Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing – America’s Invisible Epidemic: Preventing Elder Financial Abuse

WHEN:          Thursday, November 15, 2 p.m.

WHERE:        562 Dirksen Senate Office Building

WHO:             Frank Abagnale, Consultant, Abagnale & Associates, Washington, D.C.

Kay Brown, Director, Education, Workforce and Income Security, Government Accountability Office, Washington, D.C.

Hubert “Skip” Humphrey III, Assistant Director, Office of Older Americans, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Member of the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, Washington, D.C.

Paul Smocer, President, BITS, Financial Services Roundtable, Washington, D.C.

Paul Greenwood, Deputy District Attorney, Head of Elder Abuse Unit, Family Protection Division, San Diego, Calif.

 

The hearing will be webcast from the committee webpage:  www.aging.senate.gov