We all hate spam, but clearly it works – otherwise we wouldn’t get so much of it. It may not cost much to send an email, but there still needs to be a positive return somewhere in the mix.

This is true no matter what type of spam you get – winning a contest, weight loss, or stocks – someone is taking them up on the offer.

I doubt that many people reading this are in danger of being suckered in by a pump and dump scam, but someone you know might be, especially older friends and relatives.

Elderly folks tend to be more trusting and less informed of the latest scams, making them the perfect target for this type of garbage.

Investment scams play right into one of retiree’s biggest fears – running out of money. And the spammers have just the answer.

Unfortunately, financial exploitation of the elderly is distressingly common. When I moved to Maine, I had to transfer my licenses from Maryland, which required taking a class in Augusta.

As far as I know, Maine is the only state that does something like this – everywhere else you just fill out a form and write a check. Maine wants you to come in for two things:

  1. Meet the regulators (it’s a small place…)
  2. Make sure that you know the signs of elder abuse and fraud (and know that the state is watching for it)

Maine might be uniquely susceptible (we’re the oldest and most rural state in the country), but this is a national issue. It’s easy to write off spam, but it’s part of a broader, and more serious, problem.

To learn more about elder abuse, two great resources are the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Elder abuse is just one of the many things we have to look out for, especially when you have aging parents. Sometimes we get so caught up caring for them, it can be challenging to also juggle our own finances.

To learn more about how you can do both, download our ebook Taking Care of Your Finances While Taking Care of Your Aging Parents.

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