Minnesota’s 9,600 Certified Public Accountants were urged Tuesday to help identify senior financial abuse as they help elders prepare their tax returns.

Commissioner Mike Rothman of the Minnesota Department of Commerce sent a letter to the state’s CPAs identifying signs of financial abuse. They include substantial changes in income, exotic investment, missing or incomplete documentation and financial gifts.

The department cited a study conducted by the Investor Protection Trust that showed one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 has fallen victim to a financial swindle costing American seniors $2.5 billion per year.

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