Senior Savings Protection
In 2016 and 2017, the Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Securities Division worked with the Indiana General Assembly, Indiana Adult Protective Services and industry professionals to pass senior savings protection legislation. A new section was added to the Indiana Uniform Securities Act at Ind. Code § 23-19-4.1 to give broker-dealer and state registered investment advisers additional tools to fight the growing and troubling trend of the financial exploitation of seniors. The law provides a mechanism for broker dealers and state registered investment advisers to not only report suspected financial exploitation, but also to temporarily hold a disbursement of funds if there is a reasonable belief of suspected senior exploitation.
The purpose of this webpage is to outline the procedures for reporting potential senior financial exploitation to the Indiana Securities Division and Indiana Adult Protective Services and provide information and resources to assist in detecting senior financial exploitation. The National Adult Protective Services Association reports that only 1 in 44 cases of elder financial abuse are ever reported. The new law is the first step to reverse the growing trend of non-reporting.
Financial Exploitation Indicators
According to the National Council on Aging, financial abuse and fraud costs elderly Americans $36.5 billion dollars annually and effects millions of lives. The following are tips for spotting damaging yet often unseen abuse.
- Elder financial abuse is typically perpetrated by those closest to elderly Americans such as family members, caretakers, and neighbors.
- Cognitive decline, often brought on by diseases such as Alzheimer’s, can make elderly individuals more susceptible to financial abuse.
- A lack of knowledge regarding major financial transactions and unusual spending behavior, including an increased use of credit cards and large ATM withdrawals, are red flags indicating abuse is occurring.
- Sudden changes in an elderly individual's mood, including depression and nervousness, are potentially signs abuse is occurring.
- New best friends, particularly those that appear interested in the elderly individual's finances, should be viewed with suspicion.
- Unpaid bills, a lack of food in the home, and missing personal possessions should all raise alarm.
- Sudden legal changes, such as estate planning and power of attorney, should raise eyebrows
- Follow your instincts. If something seems amiss, investigate and report any suspicions to the proper authorities listed below.
How to Report Suspected Senior Financial Abuse
- If a qualified individual at a Broker-Dealer or Investment Adviser has reason to believe that financial exploitation of a financially vulnerable adult has occurred, has been attempted, or is being attempted, the qualified individual shall:
- A qualified individual at a Broker-Dealer or Investment Adviser may refuse a request for disbursement of funds from an account if the qualified individual has reason to believe that the requested disbursement may result in financial exploitation of a financially vulnerable adult. If a disbursement is temporarily held the qualified individual of the Broker-Dealer or Investment Adviser shall:
- Not more than 3 business days after the refusal contact the Indiana Securities Division by phone at (317) 232-6681, by email at SeniorProtection@sos.in.gov or via the address listed below.
- Not more than 3 business days after the refusal contact Indiana Adult Protective Services by phone at (800) 992-6978 or via online submission.
- If an individual qualified as a Broker-Dealer or Investment Adviser refuses a request for disbursement, they must notify the Securities Division by phone, email, or mail at the conclusion of the internal investigation.
Link to Adult Protective Services
The following links contain useful information which can be employed to help identify elder financial abuse.
Serve Our Seniors - NASSA
Submit all documents and questions to:
Chief Deputy Securities Commissioner
Indiana Secretary of State, Securities Division
302 W. Washington St., Room E-111
Indianapolis, IN 46204