The problem is big and growing – people 60 years old and older were involved in more than 170,000 fraud complaints tracked by the FTC in 2014, double the number in 2010. And those are just the ones that were reported.
Elder financial abuse includes a wide range of offenses, from scams targeting the elderly to relatives siphoning money from their elderly family members.
A group of state securities regulators have proposed a state law that would require financial advisers and others to report suspected elder financial fraud to a state securities regulator and an adult protective services agency, according to The Wall Street Journal. Despite the bill’s features that grant civil immunity to brokers and advisers for privacy violations and the ability to put a temporary hold on suspicious account disbursement, the financial industry is pushing back, hard.
Social workers are required by law to report elder abuse, and many states require certain financial professionals to report elder fraud. But the rules of who is required to report and who is not vary widely, and many professionals are reluctant to blow the whistle.
If you suspect that an elderly person is being ripped off by a stranger or a family member, there are several resources to contact:
Here is a link to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services
Nassau County New York Office for the Aging is among several agencies listed here:
Suffolk County New York’s Office for the Aging can be found here: