Beware Elder Fraud!

Sunday, March 02, 2014 23:19
Beware Elder Fraud!

Tags: client communication | client education | fraud

It might seem trite to bring up "elder fraud" again. Trite as it might seem, it is real and happening NOW! A good friend called me last week, upset after finding out about her parents' experience. It went like this:

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Her mother received a phone call early on the previous Monday. She was told, by the "arresting officer", that her grandson was arrested for drunk driving and had hit a car owned by a visiting Chilean. In order to avoid jail time, she would need to wire $3,000 to a Chilean bank by noon. She was instructed not to call her grandson (because his cell phone was confiscated) and not to call his parents (because he didn't want them to know).
Unfortunately, my friend's parents believed this story and it cost them $3,000.
Additionally surprising is how my friend found out. You see, her son coincidentally called his grandparents later that day. When they realized that they were scammed, they swore their grandson to secrecy. Fortunately, he told his parents. 
When my friend ultimately called her parents, they were embarrassed but also angry and defensive. They emphasized that they were not losing their minds and did not want financial control taken from them. 
Therein lies the problem. Were it not for their grandson's prudence in telling his parents, this fraud would not have been reported. Embarrassment and fear frequently keep this crime under wraps. What can we do? We must warn our elderly clients. We must warn our clients with elderly parents. And we must warn our own parents. 

Comments (2)

This is all too trey , thank you for making everyone aware that it is not easy to protect your parents and elder clients. But simple to let them know you care and help.
bobdicarlo , March 07, 2014
Great piece. ... had a similar problem with my own Mom. Telemarketer was selling "Identity protection."

When I asked for a copy of the tape, the telemarketer had continued to say to my mother, after pressing and pressing, "All I need is a clear yes."

My Mom, (still pretty sharp at that time) kept saying "just send me something in the mail."

After several rounds of this, the person, again, said "All I need is a clear yes, Ms XXXXXX."

My Mom (thinking it was "Yes, please send me something in the mail) said "Yes."

They began sending bills is the mail, and making harassing phone calls.

This reminds me of what Nick Murray says the "three most important words" in an adviser's vocabulary is, when it comes to keeping our clients from "speculating at the highs and running scared at the lows;" ... "Don't do that."

Said differently, ... Just say no

Said differently, ... Sometimes it's important to err on the side of ... inaction.

Saying no is hard. (Parents know this all too well).

KLM , March 21, 2014

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