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Home>UPDATE: How financial advisers can help fight elder financial abuse

UPDATE: How financial advisers can help fight elder financial abuse

UPDATE: How financial advisers can help fight elder financial abuse

10/03/2017

By Robert Powell, MarketWatch

Most cases are not discovered before they cause serious problems

There's more awareness of senior investment fraud than ever before. Still, most cases of senior financial fraud are not discovered before they cause serious problems, according to a new survey of state securities regulators (http://nasaa.cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/NASAA-August-2017-Pulse-Survey-Senior-Financial-Abuse.pdf), who believe broker-dealers and investment advisers aren't doing enough to fight fraud.

Seniors and their loved ones are an obvious line of defense: They can watch for suspicious behavior and suspicious account activity, says Mike Rothman, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association and Minnesota State Commerce Commissioner.

Read: How to protect your family members -- or yourself -- from elder abuse (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-protect-your-family-members-or-yourself-from-elder-abuse-2017-06-21)

But financial advisers can also do more -- and they might be better positioned to spot problems before it's too late. To help, NASAA suggests that advisers watch for signs of suspicious behavior from their older clients that might point to deeper problems:

-- The client has moved from existing relationships toward new associations with "friends" or strangers who show excessive interest in their finances or accounts, refuse to allow them to speak during meetings, or are reluctant to leave them alone with -- or speak directly to -- an adviser

-- The client shows an unusual degree of fear, anxiety, submissiveness or deference toward their new associates

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