Today is Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15), Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall is encouraging North Carolinians to keep a sharp eye out for signs of elder financial exploitation and report suspected abuse to authorities.

Marshall warns that elder abuse is rising as baby boomers age. “Many seniors are vulnerable,” said Marshall on Wednesday. “Seniors are more likely to have nest eggs and retirement funds from a lifetime of saving, and may be socially isolated from their family and traditional support networks. So it is vital for each of us to keep an eye out for seniors, whether it’s a neighbor, a friend, or a member of your church. Listen and watch for signs of elder financial abuse.”

Common warning signs that a senior citizen may be at high risk for financial exploitation include:

  • Has a new person come into the elder’s life and shown excessive interest in their financial situation?
  • Are friends and family members unable to speak directly to the senior despite repeated attempts?
  • Does the senior suddenly talk more about financial worries, or begin making references to a financial windfall?

If you suspect elder financial abuse, please contact the NC Secretary of State’s Securities Division at 1-800-688-4507. Other types of elder abuse, including physical, emotional, neglect and abandonment, can be reported to your county Department of Social Services, the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ toll-free Care Line at 1-800-662-7030, or to local law enforcement authorities. You may also report abuse through the national Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.

The Secretary of State’s Securities Division also offers workshops across the state to give citizens the tools they need to steer clear of investment scams.

For more information about the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State’s role in protecting investors, visit Investors should call the Secretary of State’s Securities Hotline at 1-800-688-4507 before investing their money to find out if the broker, adviser or investment offering is registered with the state.