What Steps Can Be Taken to Protect the Elderly from Financial Fraud?
Family members, professionals and healthcare providers are at the frontline in the defense of the elderly from financial fraud. Vigilance in this matter is required. This duty has been recognized by many professions through training and compliance standards which require adherence as a part of their ethical standards. The outreach to the elderly community has been met by stakeholders bound to the service of the elderly.
State and federal agencies charged with the protection of elderly citizens have published studies and consumer alerts directed towards the elderly, family members and trusted advisors about how elder investors can avoid being victims of elder financial fraud. The following consumer tips for the elderly are designed to avoid financial fraud:
- avoid investments through internet;
- don’t rush making investment choices;
- avoid high pressure, “act now” sales pitches;
- beware of salespeople who prey upon your fears;
- avoid promised returns that sound too good to be true;
- ask for a written explanation of any investment opportunity;
- shop around and get a second opinion;
- stay in charge of your money or enlist the help of a trusted third party;
- never make checks payable to an individual, only a company or financial institution;
- retain account statements and confirmations about investment transaction; and
- take immediate action if you detect a problem.
Klayman & Toskes, P.A. is dedicated to the rights of elderly investors and their families. State of Florida Statute 825.103 is designed to punish perpetrators of “elder financial fraud” and protect the exploitation of elderly persons. A financial advisor or other person engages in elder financial fraud if they:
- Knowingly, by deception or intimidation, deprive the victim of use or benefit of personal funds;
- By an individual who know or reasonably should know that elderly person lacks capacity to consent; and
- Breach of fiduciary duty to an elderly person which results in an unauthorized appropriation.