Older Clients At Risk Of Abuse By Unscrupulous Advisors
How Brokers Defraud Elderly Clients
Protecting Against Financial Elder Abuse
Seniors are vulnerable to financial advisors, brokers, insurance agents, trustees and others whether they are new advisors or persons with whom the senior may have had a relationship for years. Any financial abuse or theft can be devastating and is a crime and the basis for a civil lawsuit for damages. See Cal. Penal Code § 368 (defining criminal elder abuse) and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30(definition of financial elder abuse for civil actions). Evans Law Firm, Inc. has years of experience representing seniors who are victims of abuse at the hands of insurance agents, financial advisors, retirement planners and stockbrokers whether by sales of unsuitable investments including annuities, unauthorized trades, misrepresenting investments, failing to disclose important information, or theft. We pursue all available remedies for injured seniors including awards of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing your action. Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5. If you’re the victim of financial elder abuse here in San Mateo County or elsewhere in California call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
How Brokers And Advisors May Abuse Older Clients
Whether you’re a new investor or an experienced one, it’s still possible for a stockbroker or financial advisor to commit financial elder abuse by conduct including:
- Selling unsuitable investments including deferred annuities;
- Executing trades on your behalf without your authorization;
- Withdrawing funds from your account for their own use;
- Asking a senior client for a Power of Attorney and then misusing it;
- Misrepresentation of the risk of an investment;
- Over-concentrating your portfolio into one type of investment; and
- Adding “alternative” investments to your portfolio without disclosing risks
Protecting Senior Consumers
Protect your older loved ones by:
- Monitoring all financial account statements for any irregularities or anything that’s unclear
- Accompany older loved ones to all business meetings and do not allow them to be pressured into signing anything.
- Look for unusual increases in trading or other activity—unauthorized trading is common.
- Be part of the relationship your loved one has with their bankers, attorneys and other professionals.
- Watch for:
- Excessive trading, especially one where commissions are involved
- “Churning,” where a stockbroker conducts continual transactions that generate fees but deplete your account
Before you invest any money with a stockbroker check their background and use free resources for finding questions you should ask. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers the Securities Helpline for Seniors who want to ask questions about their accounts from an objective opinion. You can also learn more about a stockbroker or investment advisor you’re considering with FINRA’s BrokerCheck tool, which is also free and available 24/7 online, or by phone at (800) 289-9999.
If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of financial elder abuse in San Mateo County or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).