Some investors are considered vulnerable investors. Sometimes they may include seniors or other adults who may be susceptible to financial abuse or manipulation due to their age or a cognitive disability.
How to protect yourself or a loved one
Aging is a fact of life. Some older adults may also face social isolation, cognitive decline and health challenges that make them more vulnerable to financial abuse.
You can protect yourself and your loved ones from financial abuse by planning for the future and talking openly about it.
You can also:
- Name a Trusted Contact Person (TCP) for your financial institution or investment advisor to contact if they are concerned about abuse.
- Talk to your advisor about putting temporary holds on large or suspicious transactions in your account that someone caring for you may have requested or when your financial institution or investment advisor may be concerned someone may be trying to financially exploit you.
It’s important to note that these tools are optional and are not mandatory. While most of us believe we will never need them, they may one day prove to be helpful.
How to recognize elder financial abuse
Elder financial abuse is difficult to recognize. In many cases, it is not identified as a problem until a large portion of an older person’s savings has gone missing. Sadly, many seniors suffer financial abuse from a close family member.
Here are some signs that indicate you or someone you know may be a victim of elder financial abuse:
- Unusual financial transactions, such as large bank withdrawals or the liquidation of investments.
- Sudden inability to pay bills.
- The person is no longer buying things they need, like clothes, groceries, or medications.
- The person assumes financial responsibility for a family member.
- The person exhibits an unusual fear of or sudden change in feelings about a particular person or people.