An unfortunate common occurrence that families frequently face is the prospect that someone took financial advantage of an elderly family member.

Financial abuse can even involve the investment accounts they have at other institutions. A brokerage firm or an individual stockbroker might scam an elderly person into putting funds in risky investments or passing their money to this person directly.

At Oakes & Fosher, our securities fraud attorneys have a deep understanding of the issues you or a family member might face if elder financial fraud has occurred. You trusted someone to responsibly handle your money, only to find out later they did nothing of the sort. We will fight for victims of stock broker fraud and are willing to take your case to court.


What Is Elder Fraud?

Elder abuse itself can come in many forms, such as:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment

Elder FraudA more subtle but equally sinister way that people take advantage of the elderly can involve their finances. If you or a loved one have experienced elder financial fraud, it is essential to gather the facts and seek remediation.

A broker who engages in defrauding the elderly might suggest risky stocks or charge excessive fees for managing accounts. Brokerage firms have a duty to mitigate the risk of elder financial fraud, but this can still often occur under their watch. In fact, securities industry rules require brokerage firms to monitor customer account transactions closely. When this monitoring is neglected, they are liable for fraud or wrongdoing done to a customer served by their firm.

Many people in our aging population from the Baby Boomer generation are seeking financial stability as well as smart investments.

Brokers who prey on the elderly and aging population may suggest the following types of investments:

  • Investments in oil and gas
  • Insurance products
  • Unregistered securities

Brokers committing fraud related to these and other types of investments may claim they are low-risk, high-return investments. They will also use pressure tactics on the elderly to get them to make these decisions quickly and without giving thought to what they are doing.

If you feel like you have been pressured into these types of investments or experienced this type of fraud in your golden years, be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

Elder Fraud FAQs

Who Is Likely to Be a Victim of Elder Financial Abuse?

Due not only to life expectancy and often living alone, women are statistically more likely than men to experience elder financial abuse or elder fraud. Many of the people who fall within the elderly population who are living alone and require some level of help may also experience it.

What Are Some of the Non-financial Effects of Elder Fraud/Abuse?

Elder fraud and abuse bring severe consequences:

  • Delayed medical care
  • Malnutrition
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of independence

Victims face a higher risk of death, making this issue deadly.

What Are Some of the Reasons Elder Fraud Occurs?

Elder fraud may occur because an elderly person may have Alzheimer’s or dementia and relies on other people to make decisions for them. This leaves their well-being, including financial security, vulnerable to fraudulent scams.

Additionally, because multi-generational households are less common now and the elderly often live alone, they may not have close adult children taking care of their needs like in previous generations. Coupled with their changing mental capacity, an elderly person may be more likely to participate in a scam that leads to a loss of their investments.

What Is the Annual Scope of Loss to Elder Financial Abuse Victims?

Elder financial abuse remains a significant concern, resulting in substantial financial losses for older adults.

The AARP published a report titled The Scope of Elder Financial Exploitation: What it Costs the Victim. According to this report, victims over the age of 60 lose a staggering $28.3 billion annually through financial exploitation. These losses can include substantial portions of the older victim’s life savings, as well as their property and other assets.

In 2022, 88,262 people aged 60 and above fell victim to financial fraud schemes, resulting in an average loss of $35,101 per senior. Seniors aged 80 and over reported a higher median financial loss than any other age group.

The total amount swindled from older Americans exceeded $3 billion, as reported by the FBI, or $1.6 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Discrepancies in fraud loss estimates may arise from differing definitions of what constitutes fraud.

The scams that often target seniors include:

  • Tech support scams
  • Family imposters
  • Government imposters
  • Online shopping scams
  • Romance scams
  • Fake sweepstakes and lotteries
  • Cryptocurrency scams
  • Real estate and home repair scams.

Email remains the most popular method of contact for scammers. It accounted for 24% of fraud reports during the first three quarters of 2023. Phone calls were used in 20% of reported fraud attempts during the same period.

Interestingly, while email is more common, phone call-related fraud results in significantly greater financial losses for victims compared to email-related fraud.

How Can You Help Prevent Elder Fraud?

Taking proactive steps can significantly reduce the risk of elder fraud. Encouraging open conversations about finances within families, educating elders about common scams, and setting up safeguards with financial institutions can all help protect against fraud. Awareness is key.

Knowing the signs of fraud and regularly checking on the well-being of elderly family members or friends can make a big difference in preventing elder fraud.

Contact Our Attorneys For Help With Elder Fraud

Richard Fosher, Attorney for Elder Fraud

Elder Fraud Lawyer, Richard Fosher

If you or a loved one experienced fraud at the hands of a stockbroker, the attorneys at Oakes & Fosher can help. We have taken similar FINRA arbitration cases to court and helped victims recover their lost money.

Please contact us today at (314) 428-7600 to discuss your case. It’s completely free and confidential. Our legal fees are based entirely on whether we recover compensation for you.


Oakes & Fosher, LLC

1401 South Brentwood Blvd.
Suite 250
St. Louis, MO 63144