What is Elder Fraud?
Elder abuse itself can come in many forms, such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, or abandonment. A more subtle but equally sinister way that people take advantage of the elderly can involve their finances. If you or a loved one have experienced elder financial fraud, it is essential to gather the facts and seek remediation.
A broker who engages in defrauding the elderly might suggest risky stocks or charge excessive fees for managing accounts. Brokerage firms have a duty to mitigate the risk of elder financial fraud, but this can still often occur under their watch. In fact, securities industry rules require brokerage firms to closely monitor customer account transactions. When this monitoring is neglected, they are liable for fraud or wrongdoing done to a customer served by their firm.
Many people in our aging population from the Baby Boomer generation are seeking financial stability as well as smart investments. Brokers who prey on the elderly and aging population may suggest the following types of investments:
- Investments in oil and gas
- Insurance products
- Unregistered securities
Brokers committing fraud relating to these and other types of investments may claim they are low risk, high return investments. They will also use pressure tactics on the elderly to get them to make these decisions quickly and without giving thought into what they are doing.
If you feel like you have been pressured into these types of investments or experienced this type of fraud in your golden years, be sure to contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Elder Fraud FAQs
Who is likely to be a victim of elder financial abuse?
Due not only to life expectancy and often living alone, women are statistically more likely than men to experience elder financial abuse, or elder fraud. Many of the people that fall within the elder population who are living alone and require some level of help may also experience it.
What are some of the non-financial effects of elder fraud/abuse?
Non-financial effects of elder fraud and abuse can be devastating, resulting in postponement of medical care due to lack of funds; reduced nutritional intake, resulting in the elder person essentially starving their self because of their financial situation; depression; anxiety; and further loss of independence. Elderly abuse victims as a whole are at a higher risk of death, making this prevalent problem among aging populations truly deadly.
What are some of the reasons elder fraud occurs?
Elder fraud may occur because an elder person may have Alzheimer’s or dementia and relies on other people to make decisions for them. This leaves their well-being, including financial security, vulnerable to fraudulent scams. Additionally, because multi-generational households are less common now and the elderly often live alone, they may not have close adult children taking care of their needs like in previous generations. Coupled with mental capacity changing, an elderly person may be more likely to participate in a scam that leads to a loss of their investments.
What is the annual scope of loss to elder financial abuse victims?
While statistics vary, a 2015 study by TrueLink Financial, a for-profit company that offers fraud protection systems and products for seniors, found that “36.9% of seniors are affected by financial abuse in a five-year period, amounting to $36.48 billion annually.”
Contact our Attorneys for Help with Elder Fraud
If you or a loved one experienced fraud at the hands of a stockbroker, the attorneys at Oakes & Fosher can help. We have taken similar FINRA arbitration cases to court and helped victims recover their lost money. Please contact us today to discuss your case – it’s completely free and confidential, and our legal fees are based entirely on whether we are able to recover for you.