New law combats elder financial abuse

Professionals see increase of financial abuse of older victims.

Joseph Orr, president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), says the Elder Financial Protection Act took effect in Texas in September.

The next step is to educate, not the elderly, but the financial institutions.

Orr says financial professionals and lawmakers see an increase in financial abuse of older victims.

Also, scammers today are more sophisticated than ever with reports of identity theft, email scams and phone scams.

The new law sets new standards to combat this problem.

Financial advisers will eventually be able to step forward when they see something fishy on their clients’ accounts.

Even though the law has passed, it's still in its beginning stages.

“NAIFA is helping to define what financial exploitation is,” says Orr.

Orr says, “This gives us, as financial institutions, banks, financial advisers, stockbrokers, the ability to help out with these folks whenever we see early signs of a financial scam with the elderly.”

Orr explained the steps that’ll be taken as this law is being implemented at our financial institutions.

First, financial exploitation needs to be defined with banks and financial advisors.

Next, banks, stockbrokers and other financial advisers will have the option to contact local law enforcement.

Financial institutions can place a 10-day hold on the account once a report has been filed.

Financial advisers or banks can also contact trusted third party.

Orr says the elderly need to remain vigilant about their finances while NAIFA works with the institutions to start enforcing these laws.

He also says the elderly can always ask questions about their personal accounts.

“By going to someone that helps them with their finances -- whether it be at their bank, whether it be their financial advisers -- all those folks at least have the ability to at least give them a second opinion or be in the forefront to at least help them out,” Orr says.

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