True Link Financial, a California-based company that provides assistance and tools to seniors and their families to prevent elder abuse, released a 2015 report estimating that financial elder abuse costs senior citizens $36.48 billion per year.
The report found that “criminal fraud” such as telephone scams, identity theft, and other types of explicitly illegal scams, extracts $12.76 billion from seniors per year. $16.99 billion is extorted via “financial exploitation” from seniors who may have cognitive problems, and are duped into a financial scam of some sort. “Caregivers Abuse” involves family members, friends, financial professionals, or other trusted advisors. This type of financial elder abuse extorts $6.67 billion every year from seniors.
The Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), which is the largest organization of US lawyers representing investors in arbitration with stockbrokers, works on cases that involve seniors and financial industry. There are many rules in the financial services industry aimed at protecting seniors, but these rules are frequently broken.
There are many examples of different types of financial elder abuse. For example, sometimes a caregiver or trusted advisor will name himself the estate’s beneficiary in order to be paid when the elderly person dies. In other cases, the broker makes sure that he will earn high commissions thanks to his elderly client’s assets by offering illiquid investments that are unsuitable for senior citizens.
California financial elder abuse attorneys say that getting victims’ money back is easier when thefts come from brokers or financial advisors than when they come from family members or caregivers Cases involving broker dealers are often brought to the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) arbitration or to court.
California financial elder abuse attorneys recommend that seniors only trust recognized investment firms with their financial investments, and should research any company they are considering investing with. Consumers should also check the background of the professional they hire, if they have gotten in trouble in the past, and the history of the company, which can all be done through the FINRA website.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles financial elder abuse lawsuits and other elder abuse cases. If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.