WASHINGTON, June 15, 2015— The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) today recognized World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) by urging all to join in the fight against senior financial exploitation, the crime of the 21st century.

“Elders remain a top target of investment fraud, and with one-third of enforcement actions taken by NASAA members involving senior investors, elder financial abuse continues to grow,” NASAA President and Washington Securities Director William Beatty said. “This often unrecognized and underreported form of elder abuse is an ever growing problem due to the amount of wealth seniors have accumulated throughout their careers and the steadily rising number of retirees.”

As part of NASAA’s commitment to fight senior financial exploitation, Beatty encouraged families to engage in conversations with their loved ones about finances and fraud. He pointed to NASAA’s Conversation Starters resources within the Senior Investor Resource Center section of the NASAA website. Conversation Starters is a series of open-ended questions designed to help families kick-start an ongoing dialogue about budgeting, saving, investing and avoiding scams and frauds.

“Talking about money is never easy, but through our Conversation Starters program we provide questions to get you and your loved ones talking,” Beatty said. “Having meaningful conversations about investment management and what to do if fraud is suspected will aid in tackling the challenges confronting senior investors and help to ensure financial security around budgeting, saving and investing.”

For this year’s WEAAD campaign, Beatty said NASAA’s Board-level Committee on Senior Issues and Diminished Capacity is addressing elder financial abuse through a new initiative, ServeOurSeniors. As part of the program, NASAA is developing a resource-rich website for seniors, caregivers, regulators and securities industry professionals, a training program for regulators on issues related to diminished capacity, and an outreach program to help front-line financial workers detect the red flags of elder financial exploitation and where to report suspicions of fraud.

“NASAA and its members are at the forefront of addressing the wide range of challenges facing senior investors,” Beatty said. “This issue will remain a top priority for NASAA not only on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, but throughout the year.”

For additional investor protection resources, visit NASAA’s Senior Investor Resource Center.

NASAA is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. Its membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the provinces and territories of Canada, and Mexico.

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Bob Webster | Director of Communications