The news headlines have been screaming it… Another senior or vulnerable adult exploited out of their hard-earned money by a stranger, somebody close to them, or someone in between. Protecting senior investors has been a hot topic in the financial industry as more and more baby boomers reach retirement age. The situations that lead to these losses continue to be more sophisticated and the offenders, scarier. So, what should we be doing protect the vulnerable?
Ask questions and know the risks: It has been a saying through the years, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Yet, people still fall for get-rich-quick promises. Nobody is going to call you out of the blue and ask for your bank information in order to deposit the huge amount of money you’ve just won from a contest that you never signed up for. Another common scheme is a fake check written to you for a large dollar amount, with a request to purchase something for a smaller amount… The rest is yours! But wait, the check bounces, leaving you nothing other than the loss of the purchase you made. Ask questions, and work with us and your loved ones before sending money to any party. Be skeptical of any phone calls claiming that you owe funds. Typical practice for collecting will be via mail, not telephone. A collecting party will never ask you to make things square via a gift card purchase.
Cybersecurity: Make sure you are aware of the ways to protect your data. Be cautious on websites, social media and emails. There are many safeguards you can put into place including dual factor authentication, voice passwords, etc. Please visit some of our other cybersecurity articles for further definition of ways to stay safe. https://pittand.com/2018/10/22/cybersecurity/
Add a Trusted Contact to your accounts: In 2017, FINRA issued an amendment to Rule 4512. This was intended to help protect clients from exploitation. This initiative required financial professionals to make a reasonable effort in obtaining a trusted contact, specifically for individuals of 65 and older. We hope that you will take advantage of this extra layer of protection. A trusted contact can be any individual trusted to have your best interest in mind. The trusted contact will ONLY be contacted in the event of a situation in which your investment advisor or custodian sees that there may be exploitation arising. This allows for a discussion with the trusted individual in order to resolve the situation or escalate to next steps for your protection. If you would like to add a trusted contact to your account and have not done so already, please contact Kristin @ (402) 328-8800.
As a fiduciary, we are required to put your best interests first every time. You can trust us to help with keeping your money safe as you age. It doesn’t have to be a difficult conversation to be prepared. By being aware of current exploitation happenings and assigning a trusted contact before there is risk, we are more prepared for the future. Let’s work together in ensuring that your money is available to be used for your intended goals only.
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