The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has released an anti-fraud guide designed to protect older Americans from financial fraud and abuse. The guide is designed to help seniors and their families pinpoint warning signs of financial abuse so they can be better protected, the organization says.
“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. “This guide to financial self-defense will help protect seniors from abusive, fraudulent and unethical financial practices.”
The guide identifies 10 “red flags” and tip to confront them including looking beyond the letters after a financial planner’s name; “there’s no such thing as a free lunch;” “You have rights as a homeowner, know them;” and “If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not legitimate or safe,” among others.
The CFP board developed the guide based on results of a 2012 survey on senior financial exploitation, finding of the abusive practices in the delivery of financial advice or products, nearly three quarters were aware of older investors who had been the subjects of sales pitches purported to be “free meal” seminars; nearly 60% reported knowledge of investors who had received unsolicited pitches for financial products or services and the majority were aware of people who had been offered unsuitable products or have been subject to omission of 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.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker