Back in the day, I used to see Three-card Monte played on the Chicago "L". For the benefit of the uninitiated, Three-card Monte, also called Three-card shuffle, Follow the lady, Find the lady, or Follow the Bee, is a confidence game in which the victim, or mark, is tricked into betting a sum of money that he can find the money card, for example the queen of spades, among three face-down playing cards The hand is quicker than the eye and these guys are pros. You don’t win.

In relative terms, what people lose playing Three-card Monte can be called "chump change" compared to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s estimate that approximately 5 million seniors are victimized by some sort of financial fraud each year.  And there is no more tempting target than the huge amount of money in seniors’ accounts in retirement plans and IRAs.

The enforcement agencies on both the state and federal level are ramping up to deal with the problem. The upcoming Senior Summit on September 10 sponsored by the SEC will bring together regulators, law enforcement officials, and community groups who have to deal with senior investment fraud to find some solutions – or better yet, help seniors avoid the Three-card Monte folks.