Save Vulnerable Seniors from Advertising Scams

Target: Donald S. Clark, Secretary for the Federal Trade Commission

Goal: End advertising scams aimed at vulnerable senior citizens.

Between 2008 and 2012, 10 to 20 percent of all fraud complaints in the United States were made by American senior citizens. Many of these complaints involved the advertising industry. TV and internet advertisements claim that investors could see financial gain but this is simply a scam. This misleading information can bring both financial and emotional trouble for an unknowing senior, often causing these senior citizens to lose their homes and their savings. It is time to put a stop to advertising scams aimed at this vulnerable population.

Daytime TV ads explain the financial benefits of reverse mortgages but ignore the fees and consequences. Reverse mortgages are presented as government benefits as opposed to loans. Seniors apply to these reverse mortgages, thinking that they know all the information, and end up losing their homes and savings in the process. Furthermore, ads involving Social Security benefits run at peak viewing times for seniors. These advertisements claim that the senior can unlock hidden benefits from their Social Security if they just call a number and pay a fee. Seniors pay the fees only to find that the tips are not legitimate.

When it comes to internet scams, online ads now mimic websites, making it is easier to mistake an ad for a valid page. Seniors with visual or tactile disabilities are prone to click on these ads. With seniors being the fastest growing population on Facebook and other social networking sites, they have become a primary target for online scammers.

It is time to take action against advertising scams aimed at seniors. By signing below, you are demanding requirements for ads on the internet and TV so that these ads express truthfulness instead of promoting scams for profit.


Dear Secretary Clark,

Thanks to advertising scams, seniors are losing their homes, retirement accounts, and peace of mind. Senior citizens are targeted both on TV and the internet due to their financial and physical vulnerabilities. Specifically, reverse mortgage ads claim to offer a benefit to seniors while leaving out important financial obligations. Seniors sign up for these benefits, believing the ads that they see on TV, and end up losing their homes and livelihoods in the process.

Online ads that look like actual websites trick seniors into clicking on them. Social Security scams claim to have tips on how the senior can make the most of their retirement accounts for a designated fee but, typically, these tips are false. We demand truth in advertising on TV and the internet for the sake of vulnerable senior citizens. It is time to take action and ensure the financial and emotional security of our elderly.


(Your Name Here)

Photo Credit: sante1

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