D.E. (Ed) Wilson, Jr., of Venable, has summarized a recent FinCEN study of elder financial exploitation. Mr. Wilson’s article begins as follows:
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the arm of the U.S. Treasury that administers the anti-money laundering (AML) laws of the United States, just released the results of a six-year (2013-2019) study of “elder financial exploitation,” based on an analysis of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). The results show a dramatic increase in SAR filings concerning attempts to separate senior citizens from their retirement funds and an upward trend in the yearly dollar amount of the reported suspicious activity.
Most importantly, FinCEN’s findings point to the need for elders, their caregivers and families, and financial institutions to exercise care to protect our senior citizens against – in particular – money transfer scams and thefts through depository institutions, as summarized below.
This is not a new issue – in 2018, for example, 36 states and Puerto Rico addressed elder financial exploitation in their legislative sessions. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued both consumer and financial institution (banks, thrifts, and credit unions) guidance on numerous occasions. On the securities side, the Financial Institution Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) has issued practical guidance for protecting senior investors and routinely holds senior investor protection conferences. The Department of Justice has an “elder abuse resource roadmap – financial” to guide reporting of scams and theft directed at senior citizens.
Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.