Archive for the ‘Financial Exploitation Prevention’ Category

Certified Financial Board of Standards (CFB) Releases Guide for Protecting Older Americans From Financial Abuse

March 30, 2013

Older Americans are too often victims of financial fraud and abuse. Recognizing this unfortunate trend, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. today released a free guide, Financial Self-Defense for Seniors, which is informed by recent survey data on senior financial exploitation, to help older Americans and their families identify the warning signs of financial abuse and to better protect themselves and their loved ones.

“CFP Board remains deeply concerned about incidents of consumers – particularly senior citizens – being misled by those claiming to be trusted financial professionals,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller , CAE. “This guide to financial self-defense will help protect seniors from abusive, fraudulent and unethical financial practices.”

Financial Self-Defense for Seniors was written by CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP®. It describes 10 “Red Flags” – common situations in which older Americans are vulnerable to financial abuse – and provides warning signs of financial abuse; real-life situations in which seniors are often taken advantage of; and advice for guarding against such abuse.

The guide draws upon CFP Board’s 2012 Senior Financial Exploitation Survey of more than 2,600 CFP® professionals, which found that more than half had personally worked with an older client who had been subject to unfair, deceptive or abusive financial practices in the delivery of financial advice or the sale of financial products. Participating CFP® professionals estimated that only five percent of senior citizens actually report such financial abuse.

The survey also found that CFP® professionals were aware of a variety of abusive practices in the delivery of financial advice or the sale of financial products, including some practices that could violate state and federal regulations:

•Nearly three-quarters (73%) were aware of older investors who have been invited to “free meal” seminars that were actually sales pitches;
•58% were aware of older investors who have received unsolicited pitches for financial products or services; •Nearly three-quarters (74%) of CFP® professionals were aware of older investors who have been offered unsuitable financial products; and
•58% were aware of older investors who have been subject to omission of material facts about financial products.

“CFP Board wants to shine a bright light on those who seek to abuse older Americans so that all seniors and their families can defend themselves against scammers,” Blayney said. “Seniors have contributed so much to our families, communities and our country. We owe them our thanks, but also our protection, so that they may live out their remaining years in financial security.”

Financial Self-Defense for Seniors is part of CFP Board’s series of financial self-defense guides, including the Consumer Guide to Financial Self-Defense, released in 2010. The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) will include the guide in its Fall 2013 Consumer Information Catalog. The public can access an online version by visiting http://www.cfp.net/financial-self-defense-for-seniors or requesting a hard copy by sending an email to mail@CFPBoard.org or calling 800-487-1497.

Full Press Release and Source:
CFP Board Releases Guide for Protecting Older Americans From Financial Abuse

See Also:
Financial Self Defense for Seniors

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LTC Facilities and Financial Institutions to Play a Role in Preventing, Detecting and Reporting Elder Financial Abuse

November 29, 2012

Long-term care (LTC) facilities, financial institutions, and anyone involved with keeping tabs on home care providers could play a role in preventing, detecting and reporting elder financial abuse.

Witnesses talked about strategies for fighting financial abuse Thursday at a hearing organized by the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

The witnesses did not talk about long-term care insurance (LTCI), and they mentioned annuities and life insurance only in passing.

But several did talk about LTC providers.
Hubert “Skip” Humphrey, III, an assistant director in the Office of Older Americans at the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), testified that “bad actors” could include family caregivers or paid caregivers as well as financial advisors, fiduciaries, home repair contractors or scam artists.

“Development of strategies to deal with the myriad of ‘bad actors’ is essential,” Humphrey said, according to a written version of his remarks posted on the committee website.

One step the Office for Older Americans is taking is to develop guides for “lay fiduciaries,” to help family members and others handle older people’s money in a prudent fashion and spot possible signs of financial exploitation, Humphrey said.

The office also is producing a guide aimed at LTC facility operators.

The office is hoping the facility operators will identify possible cases of financial exploitation and do something about them, Humphrey said.

Full Article and Source:
Nursing Home Payment Missing? Could be Fraud

Reviewing Minnesota’s Electronic Conservatorship System

August 11, 2012

As graduation time is upon us, it’s time to honor those dedicated court professionals who have completed the Institute for Court Management’s Fellows Program. Congratulations! Each graduate must complete a research paper as the final requirement of the program. I am pleased to highlight an exceedingly timely project report on Minnesota’s electronic conservatorship system, written by ICM Fellow Sherilyn Hubert of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District, Protecting the Assets of our most Vulnerable in Minnesota, Sherilyn has carried out a very worthwhile research project that will benefit all courts that are considering the automation of the conservatorship reporting process.

In 2011, the Minnesota Judicial Branch implemented a statewide web-based program for conservators to enter their account information online to the courts—the Conservator Account Monitoring Preparation and Electronic Reporting (CAMPER) Program. In FY 2012/13, the program will evolve into CAAP (Conservator Account Auditing Program), which will feature a centralized unit to focus on auditing of accounts. The program, which was first piloted in Ramsey County, was created with the intent to eliminate accounting errors, deter financial exploitation, create workload savings for conservators and court staff, reduce paperwork, improve the identification of overdue and incomplete accountings, provide ready access to expense and receipt details, improve documentation and analysis of conservatorships, and improve the court’s auditing function. The system is used in all 87 counties in 10 judicial districts. It is the first statewide automated conservatorship system in the nation. Since voluntary implementation of the CAMPER program started in July 2010, over 4,000 protected persons have been entered into the database. In August 2011, the total amount of assets of protected persons was almost $400 million.

Sherilyn focused on three objectives for her paper: (1) to determine user satisfaction with the new system; (2) to examine and document past cases of financial loss by conservators; and (3) to research various registration systems relevant to Minnesota’s plans to implement a conservator registration system in 2013. For this blog, I am going to note some of the issues pointed out in regard to financial loss.

Full Article and Source:
Reviewing Minnesota’s Electronic Conservatorship System