Due to the continued graying of America as we are in the midst of silver tsunami, a growing and major concern of many seniors is elder financial abuse. As people get older, they become more susceptible to financial scams that may empty brokerage and other financial accounts. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), passed two important changes addressing this issue in February of 2017. These changes include financial firms being now obligated to obtain the contact information of a reliable contact person for a client’s account. Furthermore, there can now be a temporary hold on funds and the contact will be notified when there is acceptable reason to believe that there is financial exploitation.

Additionally, Texas passed the Elder Financial Protection Act which became effective last September, addressing the same issues. This set the state-wide standard for fending against financial scams and abuse of senior citizens. The Texas Elder Financial Protection Act empowers those in the financial industry to protect seniors by: providing banks, stockbrokers and other financial advisors the option to contact local law enforcement when something does not seem right that could be financial exploitation. Financial institutions are now allowed the option to place a ten day hold on an account once a report is made to law enforcement or the Texas Department of Family Protective Services. Additionally, a financial advisor or financial institutions can now contact a trusted third party if they suspect financial exploitation, as long as the third party isn’t the suspect party. Now law enforcement has a new set of eyes looking out for these scams against the elderly as financial advisors and/or banks can now protect their clients.

If you think that either you or someone you know may be having issues with elder financial abuse, please contact The Senior Source. You can visit their website at https://theseniorsource.org/contact-us/or reach them by phone at (214) 823-5700. They are a collaborative partner with the Dallas County Probate Courts and District Attorney’s Office forming the Elder Financial Safety Center.

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