Protect your parents from financial fraud

Friday, September 22nd

Elder financial fraud is $36 billion. 67% of cases in NY state are by family members.

Forensic Accountant Karen Webber gives us tips to keep our parent's money safe


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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome to seven figures and all the information thank you need to dominate your finances I'm Xenia whiners you begin your good friends and family for some credit union for sponsoring the podcast Cuban tango and from personal banking to business services and home loans they're number one priority is finding a solution that works for you we'll go ahead. Have to thank you for joining us every week it means a time to hold me accountable to keeping up at these broadcasts. Any other day I was trying to come up with a topic inning came across some. Awful statistics about financial abuse against the elderly 120 older adults. Claims some form of financial instrument and that's nationally. Digging deeper locally it's. Just as much of a problem itself how can we protect your parents my parents the cute little couple that lives next door. It's so weird isn't it. Your entire life. Your mom and dad where the watchdogs. May protected you from the bad people of the world and now roles are reversed. And we had to take care of mom and dad we get a protect down so crews should we watch out for what's scams should we be aware. We cash with our experts Gerry Weber a forensic financial tent thank you so much for being here and helping us out with SE zero. A forensic accountant what does that mean would you deal. So forensic really released here at burns who's put together Abbott and of financial. Soul an elder abuse he says I take. Thousands of pages opinions. And adamant that smaller or as yours how much was stolen. Here's how it out and you all are acts eerie. And then and then you bring that evidence to court. Yeah so it depends on who I'm working with whether it's tablets rainy weather on force DA's office or criminal case. I might ease or guardianship. Work with all users. And the counties. And establishing parity and certain vulnerable individuals who have no amounts or the one or two people it half where the perpetrators. Ending their assets. And that you do that. Then how stories yeah it's really tough you know like you I always think I am making a meaningful impact on Dan like this is nasty. You writing a book to Mario I am. So what are the big things that I do as a frantic and I have to bridge that numbers. There are numbers of people and not numbers of people right. And I talked to adopt active service east workers and on earth and they say well we got into these ill because we didn't ideal a number. And now these are the cases every day. Oh. All I come in and I respect I mean I have to explain to these extremely brilliant our national like. This is a lot and harassment it is and how it works and this is how it can be exploit. What is the most prevalent let's talk locally. Locally on the is ideal Wes are generally in the Amber's or care aides are in the home. Because you can eat much higher anyone on the street name on it and you trust and end to manage your finances to take here. It should be licensed. And in some cases or not. And it may not be handling members are working he's. Recently. At this couple. Matt a waitress at their favorite rest. She eventually move inland and because she was on hard times. You know and and duck out. So did they get their money did I mention she's two week. Oh gosh and this case now I don't remember this wasn't a case so much of money being missing as she started transferring real estate properties. To herself. Always is a whole other you know so you've got and you have people who live. Since it's like strictly on Social Security so there's not a lot of money last won once they either rants. On or their. Facility and facility or their mortgage whatever happens to me either groceries whenever medical bills they have is not a not not a lot left over. So in that case the only asset they might have. House what are some other cases that just shocked you or if you explain the case does maybe we can keep RI out. Well the big line that always shocks me his relatives on spam Clinton and yet it happens over and over. And we learn about as well and my frantic kind program that rocked our. There's this thing called the concept called the fraud trying to sell at each point the prod trying are three. I'm apps right the first is opportunity. A sack and it is pressure and the third is rationalizations. Those three things have to be president for fraud to a car. The opportunity in this case as a family member with open access to mom and dad's. And a second as some sort of pressure. Typically are perpetrators are people who can't as they say rod to cost. Either spending. Or drug addicts handlers you eating some sort of addiction they are. On until that happens pressure to take this money Eden. Or if there family member who is Eric ever carry it is very hard. Yeah it is hard work long hours in frustrating. If you're not receiving any compensation he might aren't entitled. So that's the pressure come so you have the opportunity you're pressured to take money and he rationalize it because well I really should aid office work. Or and children's case. I'm beneficiary. I might as money now the group that's most vulnerable. Age sixty and older now. And six year olds are still working we'll believe it or not the PHR. Financial acuity or just awareness at least 53 after 53 o'clock really is amazing yeah. Because these people are still working. These people still manage their own money they may manage other people's money for actually happy he says he's very. Because the times are so different now with technology. All I really don't know you know technology gas is a problem I think. There's a lot of solution technology as well and are so many companies that exists now. On ever safe even when a bomb it is a company that. Next tier bank accounts. Looks at what your historical patterns or animals accounts and then. Jack's back into the future so when they monitor your accounts and activity doesn't match what you did in the past then Al slant you. You can also appoint a monitor. You within that app and so attacks passage might go to your niece. That says hey now hello can't sell and sell his account this transaction came through so. Yeah maybe eighty elderly person is able to understand information someone who's helping. Hand without having all accessed at their news and what was that out. That's called adversity. As a legal average state dot com defray. Yeah holidays mom bluntly I share the most basic plan has like seven dollars and forty academy or at all. And that another company is silver bills which is like an economy had built things S. So you don't need to worry about turning over attack but the someone who might deny Al can you send your information to them. They pay your bills and small via I'm assuming again totally minimal yet or at all right so when we're trying to. Protect where our parents and their money that they worked really hard for. Let's just break it down nice and clean who should we watch out for and what should we do. We really want to. Watch out or anyone who's in a position of trust. Is anyone could abuse act of it so if that's strangers. That it that could be someone who can taxi or loved one are you in some cases over these pop out and and they'll start building a relationship. Yeah checks and every day act kind of you were dealing with a population tends to be very isolated so any human contact. They lung. And if if this person keeps talking to and and establish a relationship and that person starts asking for money they treasure their relationships how much they want to keep it wanna do whatever they can't only okay. Yeah Facebook's attempt. I mean that's technology in Johnny Cash yeah and none phone scams are huge. I think we hear a lot about you look on her own insane. They're asking me ask you almost 60000 dollars in back taxes. If you don't pay at. Yeah today's edge asks you know what hammer and hammer are trying to bring it or. Taxes are very intimidating and anyone you know nobody wants to mass with app. Generally don't just pay at arbor they say if that's stopping 60000 dollars cash into Xbox in setting not yeah it. It seems obvious it's a phone scams seem so obvious. But they're intimacy mean. And on the other one too is with Colin grandparents. When someone calls up and says you uses information on social media and it that's publicly available to say hi you know. Yeah Graham might mean Timmy and I'm in gel. Okay that shocks me he did it seems so obvious. But you're right there's so many old people won't trust me I don't tell mom and dad aunt come on down every do it again. It's amazing what's available on social media meat you'll really tried to how much information you can find out about someone just lowering their name. Days but even if you're not on FaceBook you relatives. So there's probably pictures of your backyard up there in your relatives and -- they grandma. And almost it's. And those cameras member. I should say never I don't know you tell me do they ever get caught where they calling from. Scams are really hard to prosecute because they might be calling from overseas or they might be calling from locations that we can't Trace. It's very difficult. Prosecutes its. You think if they put so much effort into like a real legal job. I never be very successful pretty lit a lot of work gray hair I don't know how does go to work things. Out. Health care Friday I don't know I don't really understand the whole health care side of it how can you. Well people who are on Medicare which I think is like 65 and over okay Medicare card a Medicare and number where. Most if not all of their services are tired. So you can take at Medicare are just keep it takes them on Social Security card. And Saddam go and get medical services. And patient might find out about Saturday and money going to the doctor's office and there's all these conditions on the medical report that they've never untreated or. Almost you better protect your Medicare card just like you would yourself exactly. Okay. It professionals to regulate contractors I hear so many stories fiasco really tough had a case locally. On that was in the news unchecked just completely ticket in Asia this elderly couple. Said that he was working up on their roof you know and so 50000 dollars or something. Land we have that someone else command to take a second one and only like 2000 dollars worth of work was done. We'll see you protect your. How do you protect Japan from signing up with a contractor deaths you need to have continue our conversations with him. You know what's going on your mouse the project on how much are you spending and we look at. And then increase seat leg. None not at guys ripping you off Wu who do we go to jail. A lot of times you can actually if you are very concerned. You can have at least do what's called a it's called the welfare check in in out. This doesn't apply to much contractor cases but you're concerned about something. You can have a police try and I can just see what's going to monitor certain patient is someone visiting. Marat and they should be. On this sounds extreme is that okay yeah. You can do that. Adult protective services as well average report that they receive it on something they have to go and investigate. And like a three day period. So if you are really concerned you can have this objective third party Allen and say. Hey baby don't even tell you where there are keen for. You when concerned says they might say at least at this month on your house. NN day and even professionals on the financial side financial advisors for example. Great people very necessary industry but there are few bad apples and sometimes the way to financial crisis get eight or transaction. So they can do what's called churning your account and Justin constantly buy and sell securities. Stocks and mutual funds maybe the same ones over and helper. To generate more heat wrap. And that's a way that they can take. So how can you protect your and we had to tell your parents watch your statements yeah and you know generally went transactions occurring year count last deep giving your financial ties authority to conduct them on your half. You have to pru. So for getting an abnormal amount of class where they're Steen transactions it didn't authorize. And family members said to say how many was the percentage 67%. In the inner state based on studies recently. It's incredible. If you think about it they're the type of people that have the most direct access. To their up. Two people with money so it's a naturally it's going to air. Okay and then what kind of scams we watch out for when it comes to payment numbers that would be. At the nursing seems obvious right stealing jewelry you're yeah passenger or Rudy out disappearing valuables as line on if they it added tear count and you start seeing transfers. You know and missed Dayne needs the elderly people generally aren't familiar with online banking so you might start to see online transpires. Because someone has set up an account at your -- I'm amber has set up an account at your bank you can easily transfer money. On one thing you should watch out or is when you designate. A power attorney or someone to help monitor your finances. Don't make and joint senior count okay because if you make and joint in your bank account it's practically become an owner of the apps that's what it out. And I ownership. You have authority to do it our money to lease is a do instead there is an action that exists called convenience account OK and so you can and someone to the account or convenience. Which means day. Can monitor the accounts and assist you with here on bookkeeping in all hat. Amy and have science Tori thirty but they don't have ownership of the assets unpacked. So that's a great extinction because when it comes time to figure out you know who spent one yet. We can easily figure out they these other transactions that are authorized the east and actions. Typically financial abuse is co occurring with some other form use so. Abuse might present itself and another way. Then and I'm once you dig and you realize something financial that's going on when you over to your loved ones house and you see a pile of final and now. A pile of bills that happened and aid that's huge right. Nothing not paying their bills because they don't understand it and do our thing not paying their bills because money's not available even. So that's huge. Food and different. Are they forgetting to go to the grocery store or do they not have money to go to the grocery store I mean these are all tangible signs. At some underlying issue is happening OK I. And nanny out if you are able to have conversations. With your loved on its you know was helping you out with your finances. Are you comfortable with that. Those kind of actions how easy is it to get the money that when you find out that your mom dead or whoever loved line. Has been that gem of financial abuse. Can you ever get that money back really. You can it's rare on but it does cap and if your fortunate enough I guess if you're ax slayer has assets of her own. We might get restitution orders. Against those assets are put a judge many councils. And EX later is workings still. Then we may be able to I have them pay restitution is on us earning him to get that money. Now obviously depending on how its effectiveness. In. Beyond that restitution period might outlive the actual victim. He's an amazing as you know. In today's elderly generation and it got observable. These are people who are costs and technology. They're generally not using AT and you take out money they're going to the bank and their wit trying acts amount of dollars. Every month or average me or their pocket change so we sit down and we look at their records ED seasonal patterns are more easily answer. Mom does not now got to make an online urges she does not use PayPal and yup I think into the future like what do out ops you know we use and a all the time. Online transfers PayPal what have you aren't there any real observable patterns and our Dana. That and when someone is looking at and could pick out and say you know a lot. That was not care that was not sandy out was the caregiver. You think will be more savvy to this when we get older I think we well and I also think that there are tremendous strides being made. At at the legislative level to make sure stuff like this can't have an and that our penalties for people who do this sort of take advantage of vulnerable populations. Here in New York on lifespan. Of greater Rochester which is. An organization pretty much everyone has heard all locally has done a lot of work with the state on department meeting. On setting up what's called multi disciplinary teams and nearly every county. Oakley will be every county on and a few years currently it's about a third at the state. Has them. And what a multi disciplinary team is on carry a team and individuals sit around a table it will be. I represented at an adult protective services men represented have online horseman is attorney's office on. Life's banner other nonprofit service provider. Frantic talent financial advisor someone from the tax office a month from welfare and a top. All these people that might player role in the case and asked. So one of the agency's brings a case of the table. And we basically. You sit there and triage and I'll take this part I'll take this part any cases moved system passed with a coordinated response like this. On I think more of these cases are going to come out and they're going to be reported on people are going to have more awareness and education out these. But the Foundation's being very. Then let's get to know just yeah. Can you. Passionate about that's still the night started with an internship at Rockport. I really remember yeah can thrill when he brought hello my iron out to do what I would the vast school. And I say I am heavily involved there because I just it's done so much for me really made this career for me. But on lifespan of Rochester came to. College while I was enrolled in the masters and frantic counting program. Is that are cheeseburgers are getting all these financial exploitation he says. We don't know what to do it we don't have the financial education we don't now how to approach. And I remember the email coming out from the department career services. Ers and said he does anyone and interested in doing that sent I'm always liked. So I started working with that and I just. Well mum with the aware it was using his skills that I count Nin and completely different way that was so impact. You know you you can see the benefit. That you are giving this individual. So this was eight years ago my first case was a woman. And you we re able to protect the bonds are ascent because we figured out how the exploitation was occurring and put a stop to. Based on our report that he had and she ended up leaving money. So that these services could be continued. And that eventually ice and started working with state and study out this is serviced needs to be not prosperous. And that's kind of where we are now are working on a third of the counties delivering forensic accounting services Ortiz. It's. Elderly people. Are taken and then having to get a manager on duty even realizing it in a much indicated down. And one of EO we use a frantic kinder or for a lot of reasons you know its assets to go to court you know media grand jury and maybe it's guardianship. Well what I think is most important his plan my airport in plain English though is to evict them. And the victim can understand. The extent of the abuse. And maybe that changes their mind about taking next apps. So for example. Mean how many parents relatives say you give there loved ones. Hundred bucks every now on our yell mom I need money chair Harry Kyle yeah so. When were investigating a case and we go to victim and say well you know you don't your son took a lot of money from new. Victim might say well I game that you know yes they come to me every now and then. Well we put a frantic trying her part to gather and now hundred dollars here and there was really 30000 Morris. And now you can't get into the long term care arrangements that you were planning on because the money's gone. That can change their. So one Meyer or can change of victims minus. The most rewarding thing for me. And they might say yes let's pursue criminal charges or they may say yes home and parents say yes let's pursue criminal charges on you know own child. Very few but sometimes they do. And if it's a minor or first timer and air here in New York State where lucky behalf on diversion programs so were able to say you know if you press criminal charges. Johnny might not yet charged. Because there's this diversion program he's gonna get help or whatever his age and let's not in Lansing area exactly. Sent the case it's prosecuted Johnny Depp and go to jail on its help Frist issue. Maybe restitution is ordered and actually. And it's a good solution yeah and it works. You too. Mom dies did remarry is is really young woman he's in the clouds looking me. And you know there's only one reason money she's read them. How many times you see batting can you do anything you can't Kenya here in New York State. We've only believe in the right to self determination you can do what ever you want with your money. You now and if you want to leave it today young person here and laugh with you have that right. That is really difficult but we don't wanna stop. Us so we're dealing we were dealing with this one case where Alleman wise. Financially exploiting. This guy that she knew most of her life and you love this woman and would give her money and was just completely fine with giving her money. She was receiving everything and a well on all the assets would be hers she was kind of taking advances. On it. While when we got involved. Because we realized that much of this investment accounts are at risk we put a stop to it. Atlas and his money is going to be is going to gulf or his care until such time he passes away and then he can happen. Well this woman has completely stopped this and and yet. Who intervened though who'll got you guys involved was at his kids at the bank actually oh yeah so pay attention. And it's not here you are we don't have mandated reporting Los for financial institution you're not mandated to report. The space oddity is okay we're actually the only state in the United States who don't because we believe you can do it every last week your money and huge now and it now. Mary is there is some value nmap but in this case the banks are arm and they venture where they usually have internal policies and procedures that say. Now if mr. salas I'll start showing up with a friend. Or you see something weird and he accounts reported to adopt. So now when did he do. We use probably devastated. OK with that and we end yeah I mean he must moral man. Actually cared. The worst fear admit mostly Evans and Matt isn't it. The mom she'll Wear black till the end and dabbled just remarried some hot young. Secondary are good. And so. Okay it's a list he should be our allies to return on investment. The biggest take away or something that we can implement today at the biggest takeaways is open communication. And I know those conversations aren't comfortable and they're necessary. And don't be afraid to ask mom and dad you know what are your way here and of life wishes. And you meet I think about violent until there's ice think they're so far from it. Yeah they may not be and you don't Knauss listener you talk about it and out there and when you can document. Those wishes. On and some permanent ormat that's really helpful to you. The other one is document those issues no sign of power attorney. And make sure that you appoint someone who's going to manage your idea says when you can't do would need our multiple people if you sat exactly and you have the option and out of power of attorney document on the form to designate monitor so yes there is your agent. I power or your attorney and you can also appoint a monitor it don't have authorization to perform transactions on your app but they can beat a second pair of eyes on the agent as a. OK so the power of attorney should be who. Typically to someone needs us to say anybody I mean and I each passed you up okay and then the monitors just watching to make sure everything's cool exactly okay. And it's easier if your power of attorney. Is local we get a lot of cases where stuff happens is that our attorney is your daughter that lives out in California. He's not so much involved in the day to day out it that someone close by when he issues a mop. That's how well yeah the other thing you can do is as a health care. Which that's so up are attorney makes financial decisions or. As you designate and health care proxy makes those. Health care decision which really we should all have now we should all get it because you don't know when you're gonna get ahead yeah chalk you know. And I'm. Also. Designate beneficiaries. And hopefully. The beneficiary is the same person and that's making healthcare decisions for you because that they now that they're getting the money. They might withhold necessary medical error message. So you have to think about any suggestion to have so many people involved that you know it it's harder to. The more people involved of that and because unless they're colluding and they're all in it together and you have more Jackson homes in the. Parents can be so I must tell all our advice they give these are happening next week on seven figures price gouging. Kind of feels just as dirty is preying on the elderly doesn't it in the wake of a natural disaster government officials investigate claims of price gouging. But. Shoot today. Is there a benefit to price gouging that we are just not seeing Ph.D. in economics Russ Roberts will be gamut that's next week thanks to our friends and family first credit union for sponsoring the seven figures typecast married have a great weekend I'll tell you next week don't forget dominate your finances this weekend.