According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one-four adults over 65 are considered socially isolated — and the pandemic has exponentially contributed to this common problem among seniors. An AARP social isolation study specifically related to the pandemic reports that two-thirds of adults surveyed are experiencing social isolation.
While there are many disadvantages for seniors living in isolation, such as health risks, depression, and anxiety, isolation is also a contributor to the financial exploitation and of senior investors. Here’s why.
According to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) research, more people are at risk of being victimized if they are isolated and have no one to talk to or advocate for them regarding investment decisions. Since social isolation can reduce cognitive capacities, decision-making skills can be diminished, leaving them more vulnerable to financial misconduct and fraud.
Isolated seniors will often turn to the internet as a way to interact with others socially. They can become increasingly reliant on services such as online banking, shopping, and making electronic payments. Although these are conveniences, the vulnerability lies within pop-up messages from scammers luring seniors to interact and give out personal and financial information.
It may be challenging to identify if someone is being scammed or if investment misconduct is going on. If you have a senior friend or family member in your life, watch out for these red flags:
Isolated seniors are particularly prone to brokers taking advantage of their vulnerable situation and can cause devastating financial losses for victims. Not only can this make someone feel hopeless, but it can also be emotionally draining. Know that you are not alone, and our team of attorneys at Meyer Wilson is here to help you hold financial institutions and brokers accountable for their negligent actions and recover your losses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
AARP - The Pandemic Effect: A Social Isolation Report