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Official Asks Public To Report Elder Financial Abuse


Across the world this week the focus was on identifying and preventing elder abuse. A state official says one increasingly noticed form of elder abuse has to do with finances.

Leslie Van Buskirk, Administrator of the state Department of Financial Institutions’s Division of Securities says there are a number of scams in action. She says some of them don't necessarily target elderly people, but they often answer their phones. She says on scam involves sending money because that person won a lottery that's a scam...

"....another thing we see is the Jamaican lottery. We had a gentleman who wanted to eliminate his entire stock portfolio at a broker-dealer firm because he thought he won the Jamaican lottery which he never played...."

DFI reports an increasing number of complaints about people using questionable practices when overseeing an elderly person's account. She says sometimes someone trusted financial advisor might take money out of their account without the person knowing it.

".....if you see an elderly person becoming very trusting of any particular individual, be they a friend, a neighbor, a financial advisor you become concerned that those people might have ulterior motives...."

Van Buskirk says be sure to do some checking to make sure everything is on the up and up. She says often this new friend will try to isolate the elderly person from their friends and family. She says DFI is putting together some training videos so employees at financial institutions can spot possible elder financial abuse.

Van Buskirk says call their office at (608) 261-7577 for more information or go to the website serveourseniors. org

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