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Features for Senior Citizens

New Tool Kit Available to Help Senior Citizens Avoid Financial Scams

Caregivers, seniors can learn tips to protect most vulnerable seniors

Oct. 21, 2011 – Senior citizens are 12 percent of the U.S. population but a staggering 35 percent of all fraud is inflicted on seniors. A new effort to educate seniors on how to protect them themselves from financial abuse and scams has been published by the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

The new toolkit – Savvy Savings Seniors: Steps to Avoid Scams - is produced in partnership with the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER), and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.

Financial fraud is one of the most common forms of elder abuse, and also one of the most underreported. Scams and swindles deprive older adults of their hard-earned assets and retirement savings, and can leave them feeling confused, fearful, and ashamed.


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 “We must acknowledge that helping to protect seniors from scams is a vital component to ensuring their safety and financial independence,” said Sandra Nathan, senior vice president of economic security at NCOA.

“This toolkit helps older adults identify the common forms of financial fraud, and take action to protect their hard-earned resources.”

The toolkit is the second in the Savvy Saving Seniors financial education series, following the release of a guide on money management skills earlier this year.

In addition to offering typical scam scenarios, the toolkit includes step-by-step instructions for professionals to facilitate a workshop with older clients, and a list of signs for caregivers and family members to look for when concerned about their loved one.

 “All seniors, but especially older women -- the prime targets of financial scams, need the very best information to protect their income and assets and avoid financial exploitation,” said Cindy Hounsell, president of WISER.

The Savvy Saving Seniors toolkits are part of a larger initiative between NCOA and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to provide one-on-one financial assistance to over 1,200 older adults experiencing economic distress over the next year.

 “Everyone can benefit from financial education—but it’s especially important for vulnerable populations, such as seniors, who may have little income and resources,” said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “We hope that this toolkit enables older adults to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to avoid scams and remain in control of their income and assets.”

To participate in a free webinar on Oct. 24th on how to use the toolkit, click here. For additional information on this toolkit and how to get help, please click here.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA’s mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged. | |


The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement is a nonprofit organization established in 1996 dedicated to the education and advocacy that will improve the long-term financial quality of life for women. As the only organization to focus exclusively on the unique financial challenges that women face, WISER supports women’s opportunities to secure adequate retirement income through research, workshops, and partnerships.

About Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy

Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America is delivering on a 10-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2010, making the bank one of the largest corporate cash donors in the United States.

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