Vulnerable and senior investor resource guide

Senior investor and adult child

Some investors may face a unique set of challenges if they rely on family and caregivers to assist them in daily tasks. They may be more susceptible to financial exploitation due to isolation, cognitive decline, physical disability or other health issues.

Ameriprise strives to prevent any form of financial exploitation through ongoing education and dedicated support for our elderly and vulnerable clients - as well as for their friends, family and caregivers.

What is financial exploitation?

Financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an elderly or disabled person's funds, property, or assets1. It is estimated that financial exploitation costs seniors almost three billion dollars annually2.

According to the National Adult Protective Services Association. the vast majority of reports to Adult Protective Services involve perpetrators who are related to, or in a trusting relationship with the victim2. However, scams perpetrated by strangers are also very common.

Signs of financial exploitation

  • Unexplained disappearance of funds or valuable possessions
  • Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming their rights to the investor's affairs and possessions
  • Unexplained sudden transfer of assets to a family member or someone outside the family
  • Abrupt changes in a will, an account's beneficiaries or other financial accounts
  • Substandard care being provided or bills unpaid despite the availability of adequate financial resources
  • Evidence of forgery for financial transactions or for the titles of his/her possessions or property

How investors can protect against financial exploitation

  • Don't share personally identifiable information, such as Social Security number, credit card or bank account information over the phone
  • Review your account statements to ensure they are accurate
  • Shred files with your credit card number or other personally identifiable information on them
  • Sign up for the National "Do Not Call" Registry to prevent telemarketers from contacting you
  • Add a Trusted Contact Person to your account. This person will serve as a contact on your account in the event the firm suspects financial exploitation, to confirm someone is acting as the representative of a power of attorney or to determine your physical or mental health status

How to report financial exploitation at Ameriprise

If you or a loved one has been a victim of financial abuse:

  • Tell someone you trust or call your local police department
  • If you are a client of Ameriprise Financial, contact your financial advisor
  • Call customer service at 800 862-7919 to inquire about additional security measures to help

Additional Resources

FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors

Reduce your risk of identity theft

Privacy, Security and Fraud Center

Senior Investor Protection Toolkit

1 Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association 2020. As of 4/6/2020. Retrieved from https://www.sifma.org/resources/general/senior-investor-protection-toolkit/
2 National Adult Protective Services Association (n.d.). As of 5/23/2019. Retrieved from http://www.napsa-now.org/policy-advocacy/exploitation 
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