Low-Interest-Rate Environment Exposes Seniors to Fraudsters

April 19, 2013
Washington Post 
consumer financial protection bureau news

A growing number of senior citizens are being drawn into riskier investments -- some of which are outright scams -- as low interest rates wipe out their retirement savings. This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) called for financial advisers to be more transparent in the way they market themselves to seniors. Such advisers claim more than 50 types of “senior certifications,” some of which require college-level course work but others that can be earned in a weekend. The agency says there is a need for more rigorous standards for financial advisers' training and conduct. CFPB director Richard Cordray points out that many seniors assume that a financial adviser has their best interest at heart; and if they are victims of a scam, they may be too ashamed or too frail to seek help. While people 60 and older make up 15 percent of the population, they make up as much as 30 percent of investment fraud victims, according to AARP.
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