Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cheating the elderly

By Greg Wright
MBA, CFE, CFP®, CLU, ChFC
Certified Fraud Examiner
Certified Financial Planner™

About 20% of Seniors are victims of financial fraud, and yet only 5% of the victims report the abuse.  The reasons for the low reporting include humiliation, feeling ashamed and being afraid. 

According to Federal Trade Commission, the number of complaints by people age 60 and over more than doubled between 2010 and 2014.  In the face of these alarming statistics, regulators have suggested rules to help stem the epidemic. 

In 2008, new rules prohibited the use a senior-specific professional designation that indicates or implies that the insurance or stockbroker had special certification or training in advising or servicing seniors.  Excluded from the regulations were Certified Financial Planners and six other designations[i], in part, because of their training and professional organization oversight.

Unfortunately, this rule has not seen enforcement, and I am unaware that anyone in violation of the rule has seen his license suspended, revoked, or has been issued a “cease & desist” order.   I’ve asked both the Indiana insurance and securities regulators.

Along comes the latest attempt this past September.  This latest proposed Model Rule has been designed to help protect vulnerable adults by requiring supervisors of stockbrokers and investment advisors to report when they have a “reasonable belief that financial exploitation of an eligible adult (age 60 or older) has been attempted or has occurred.” 

Good luck.  Caveat emptor


[i] Certified Investment Management Analyst - CIMA
Accredited Retirement Plan Consultant - ARPC
Certified Medicaid Planner - CMP
Certified Retirement Counselor - CRC
Certified Retirement Financial Advisor - CRFA
Certified Senior Advisor – CSA



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