The elderly are amongst the most vulnerable amongst us. While this means that they may be more likely to be subjected to physical and emotional abuse, these individuals can be taken advantage of financially, too. Sure, friends and loved ones may try to squander money away from these elderly individuals, but even those who work in trusted professions, like those involving securities, can scam these elderly people, leaving them in a financially ruinous financial position.
There’s consensus amongst experts that elder financial exploitation is largely unreported. Although some estimate that nearly 7% of elderly people are abused from a financial standpoint, one study estimated that 44 instances of elder financial abuse go unreported for each case that is reported. Another study found that reported victims in New York faced more than $100 million in losses in a year, which doesn’t take into account all of the unreported losses that elderly individuals across the state saw. Some estimate that elderly Americans as a whole suffer nearly $3 billion in losses each year.
How this elder abuse occurs
Elder financial abuse can occur in a number of ways. In many instances, investment professionals take advantage of an elderly person’s reduced cognition or confusing investment strategies to lure them into risky investments. These professionals may make misrepresentations about those risks or even the costs of their services, thereby breaking the law and taking large sums of money away from these elderly individuals.
But investment misrepresentation isn’t the only type of securities issue that elderly individuals can face. They may be easily subjected to corporate malfeasance, such as when a corporation lies in their financial reports in order to defraud investors, or an investment bank or company that is about to go public misrepresents the position, health, and strength of the company thereby artificially inflating its stock price.
How to spot elder about in the securities context
There are many signs of elder financial abuse that you can watch for if you suspect that your loved one is being taken advantage of. Large chunks of money may go missing from their bank account, they may struggle to pay other bills, and their overall attitude might change.
But their investment professional may be act suspiciously, too. He or she may offer low risks and high rewards with a promise for consistent returns, or he or she may be vague about investment strategies and struggle to produce paperwork regarding your loved one’s account on demand. If you see any of these signs, then you might want to think about digging deeper into the situation to figure you what’s really going on.
Have a legal ally on your side
There’s a lot at stake in elder financial abuse cases, especially when securities are involved. An investment professional, bank, or company that defrauds an elderly individual can leave him or her financially ruined, which can affect them and their family for years, perhaps even generations to come.
These are complicated matters, though, which is why so much elder financial abuse related to securities goes unreported. But there are skilled legal teams out there that know the ins and outs of securities law and securities litigation, meaning that they know how to spot red flags of fraud, how to sniff it out, and aggressively pursue legal action to find accountability and recover compensation. Our firm fits that mold.
So, if you think that you or your loved one could benefit from having an aggressive legal ally, then you might want to think about reaching out to a firm like ours to determine your best course of action moving forward.