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.
Not All Consumers Make Good Advice Clients
The 5 Phases of FinTech: 2005-2027
Retirement For Clients With Modest Portfolios
Client Divorce Advice: What About the House?
The Power of Socially Responsible Investing
Consider Upcycling Your Knowledge
How to Explore Your Relationship With Money
6 Key Ways of Organizing Your Business for Growth
Spring Ahead in Marketing While You Still Have Time
Are You Preparing for the Future?
Let's Solve It13 hours ago
Do the Recent Trade Tensions Matter for the U.S. Economy?
Research13 hours ago
What Every Investor Can Learn From Buffett’s $4.3 Billion Mistake
Insights14 hours ago
China’s Looming Current Account Deficit Will Have Consequences for Us All
Research2 days ago
Trump’s Trade War Is Good for These 3 Dividend Stocks
Development2 days ago
The Truth About Getting to the Next Level as an Advisor
Building Smarter Portfolios2 days ago
Building the Case for Small Caps
Research3 days ago
Where Will We Get the Money to Pay for This Spending?
Human Performance3 days ago
You Are Your Ideal Client