The Worst Misconception About Advisors and Elder Financial Abuse

The Worst Misconception About Advisors and Elder Financial Abuse

Imagine this: your aging client is 86 years old, slightly grumpy, and he thinks he knows better than just about everyone else on nearly everything. He’s quite willing to follow your advice, though and that’s what makes a good relationship with him.

Lately, he’s got you worried. He is obsessed with the internet. He spends many hours a day on it and he tells you about this man he met online who has an amazing investment he wants to get into. When he starts telling you about it, it sounds like a scam of the worst kind. You warn him not to do it and he says you don’t understand.

He asks you to liquidate one of his investments you manage. You do it. He tells you how happy he is that he’s got this great thing going now. A month later he calls you and wants to liquidate a lot of his funds to raise some significant cash for his “friend” who has the scammer-sounding “investment”. You say, “don’t do this!” He won’t follow your advice. This is new, and puzzling. What should you do?

Rules tell you that you must follow your client’s instruction and that you are not supposed to reveal his financial information to anyone. Should you call Adult Protective Services? Can you? You are not sure what to do.

Here’s the answer: you are permitted to report financial elder abuse. According to the regulators’ Interagency Guidance on Privacy Laws and Reporting Financial Abuse of Older Persons, which discusses the issue in detail, you are also permitted to disclose this information to protect against or prevent actual or potential fraud.

But what if your client think his internet “friend” is fine even if you are seeing telltale signs of fraud in your client’s interactions with the scammer? You can report the apparent crime in an online form to the FBI as long as you know enough detail from your client. I think anyone who suspects internet fraud should do this, even if it turns out to be some legitimate thing in the end. It probably isn’t. And your client’s money could all be gone if you do nothing. Would that be okay with you?

Financial professionals need to be clear about your role in preventing and stopping elder abuse. Law enforcement can’t always stop the criminals but sometimes they do. No one can stop what is never reported to them. Do not be misled by the misconception that protecting your client’s private information is supposed to stop you from reporting apparent fraud and abuse.

You could be the difference between your client’s safety and your client being wiped out financially. Take a deeper dive and get very smart in an accredited one hour online course about stopping financial abuse. Click here now.

Carolyn Rosenblatt
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Carolyn Rosenblatt is an R.N. with 10 years of nursing and a lawyer with 27 years of legal practice. She has extensive experience working with both healthcare and legal i ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week (March 20 - 24)

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week (March 20 - 24)

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, March 20 - 24, 2017 


Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!



1. Facing a Massive Menu of ETFs? 4 Steps for Smart Choices


In the world of ETFs, advisors face a similar challenge. Simply put, the menu of ETFs is massive. And while advisors used to debate only about the merits of active versus passive investing ... — Jillian DelSignore

2. 5 Reasons Not to Run From REITs During Rising Interest Rates


Here are five reasons why we believe simply shifting your strategy, but not running from REITs, may provide desired yield—even in the face of yet another rate hike ... — Salvatore Bruno

3. The Impact of Working with a Narcissist


There are different types of narcissists but handling them is always the same: be humble, don’t engage. — Tanya Beaudry

4. Advisors: How to Get Referred


Use these simple tips to establish and grow valuable relationships with Centers of Influence to have them recommend you to their best clients. — Paul Kingsman

5. Five Reasons Why You're Not Getting Referrals


​Are you getting enough qualified referrals from people within your network? Or are you relationship rich but referral poor? — James Pollard

6. Understanding ETF Liquidity and Trading


ETFs offer attractive features—access to a broad range of asset classes, sectors and styles in a liquid, transparent and cost-effective vehicle. But before using that vehicle, it’s helpful to understand how it works ... — ProShares

7. McMobile: Will McDonald’s Mobile Strategy Kill the Drive-thru?


While I personally won’t forsake my Starbucks ritual for McDonalds’ curbside delivery, I have to concede the prospect of having my breakfast provided to me as I pull up to a restaurant does sound appealing. — Joseph Michelli

8. Top Ten Strategies for Increasing Marketing ROI


So many leads, so little time. Your marketing strategy is generating so many qualified prospects and you can’t keep pace. It is an enviable position. — Elizabeth Harr​​​​​​​

9. Is the Trump Bump an Example of Irrational Exuberance?


The stock market continues to soar. The natural question is: How long can this go on? — Mark Germain​​​​​​​

10. Can Trump Follow Reagan's Playbook?


New presidents typically arrive in office with an economic agenda. In the case of Trump, the nature of his proposals has invited comparison with a variety of changes made under the first term of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. — Matthew F. Beaudry

11. Hope Is Fading for Robust Economic Growth


The hope for economic growth much beyond 2.0% looks to be deferred, as legislation appears to be bogging down and the Fed is reducing monetary support, clearly taking the path to interest rate normalization. — SNW Asset Management​​​​​​​

Douglas Heikkinen
Perspective
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IRIS Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues to ... Click for full bio