U.S. Government Cracks Down on Scammers Who Target Elders

MetLife Mature Market Institute suggests that the money lost by elderly citizens through fraud and theft is more than $2.9 billion. It’s hard to know exact figures. Many seniors who fall for a scam are ashamed and never report the crime.

To keep scammers from stealing money from elderly men and women, the government is cracking down. Here are some of the ways the government is changing rules to help prevent financial fraud.

Elder Care Greece NY - U.S. Government Cracks Down on Scammers Who Target Elders

Elder Care Greece NY – U.S. Government Cracks Down on Scammers Who Target Elders

Binding Operational Directive 18-01

In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security set forth a new rule that is meant to stop email fraud. The goal is to keep government email addresses from being spoofed. The goal is to put an end to emails that appear to come from the IRS or area police departments. The new rule will make it impossible to spoof those emails.

The FTC Works to End Robocalls

In August, the FTC came up with new rules to make it easier for phone companies to stop robocalls. When a number is reported as a robocaller or violates the Do Not Call rules, the FTC posts a list of those numbers on a special page on the Do Not Call website. Telecom companies can then block those numbers from being able to make any calls.

FINRA’s New Steps to Prevent Fraud

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is not a government agency, but they’re taking strides to help out. In February, financial brokers gain the rights to put a freeze on financial transactions involving senior citizens. It gives financial firms the chance to investigate withdrawals before transferring cash. Many banks across the country are starting to take similar steps to prevent fraud.

Elders or those holding a power of attorney are asked to give contact information. When a banking transaction is submitted online, the financial company calls and asks for additional information. If fraud or a scam is suspected, the company can prevent the transaction from happening until the account holder comes in with the proper paperwork.

Say your parent gets a call saying a grandchild has been arrested. Your mom or dad are then told to transfer money from their bank to a specific Western Union office. Your parent goes to his or her bank and sends the money. The bank can keep that transaction from going through. They can ask to see the request for money and help your parent report the scam to the authorities. No money has left your parent’s account thanks to this step.

There’s another way to help prevent fraud. Make sure your parent knows to ask elder care aides when a call or email arrives. With an elder care professional’s help, your mom or dad will have someone to remind them not to answer an unknown phone number, click on links in emails, or fall for a door-to-door salesperson’s pitch. Call our elder care agency to discuss this and other helpful services.

Sources:  http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/financial-crimes-against-the-elderly-2016-legislation.aspx

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Greece NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.

John Hunt