OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF SECURITIES
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
 
PRESS RELEASE
Oklahoma Securities Commission announces June as 
Elder Abuse Awareness Month in Oklahoma 
 
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 05, 2018
 
Contact: Irving Faught, Administrator
  Oklahoma Securities Commission
  405-280-7700
 
Oklahoma City/////  June is the month dedicated to raising awareness of abuse of the elderly. In Oklahoma, financial abuse of venerable adults over the age of 65 is a growing problem. We are all aware of the problems of physical, emotional, and neglect abuse. But most of us are not aware of the tragic and costly problem of financial exploitation. Abuse by exploitation means an unjust or improper use of the resources of a vulnerable adult for the profit or advantage, pecuniary or otherwise, of a person other than the vulnerable adult using undue influence, coercion, harassment, duress, deception, false representation or false pretense. Financial abuse is illegal and can lead to criminal prosecution.

Irving Faught Administrator of the Commission said, “Most the securities fraud cases, involve some form of elder financial abuse. The scheme can be presented to anyone but the elderly are more prone to trust an investment conman. They come from an age when Oklahomans were more trusting and willing to forego skepticism believing in the general goodness of people. The conman preys on such vulnerability.” Faught added, “The problem is ubiquitous, and I believe that most seniors are abused in some manner, certainly when it comes to taking their money.”

Faught gave an example of one case out of many that involve such abuse. Aunt Birdie, a 94-year-old, legally blind widow who had $160,000 in her account in a small Oklahoma town. She had saved that money wanting to be able to leave some of it to her children. The bank was not paying an investment interest rate to provide any growth. She heard, on the radio, about an investment that was just too good to be true. A local insurance agent was selling beneficial interests in pools of life insurance contacts on terminally ill people that promised 20% up to 80% possible returns. The investment was too complicated for her to understand, or for that matter for anyone else even the seller. But the promise of big returns was more than she could resist. The so called investment was a con and she lost all her investment. She died soon after her financial tragedy. You can see the whole story of the Oklahoma fraud in a Commission documentary at http://www.investedok.org/documentaries/Anatomy-Pottawatomie_1000yT.asp?T=No.

Want to be more aware of elder abuse? Want to be able to pick up on the clues when it may be going on around you? The Commission offers a few suggestions of possible indications that an elderly person is being or has been financially abused:

Frequent large withdrawals from bank accounts, including daily maximum currency withdrawals from an ATM; uncharacteristic nonpayment for services, debit transactions that are inconsistent; uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money; closing of CDs or accounts without regard to penalties, social isolation, bereavement, dependence on another to provide care, financially responsibility for adult child or spouse, alcohol or drug abuse, depression, or cognitive impairment.

The Commission participates in the national “Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation (EIFFE) Prevention Program” that works with Oklahoma’s medical, legal and social work professionals to detect cases in which seniors are being scammed or are in danger of being scammed by an investment con artist. If you suspect that a friend or loved one has been the victim of investment fraud, please alert the Commission at www.securities.ok.gov.
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Anatomy of Fraud: Catching a Con in Pottawatomie County
 
This press release, and related information, is available on the Department of Securities' web site at www.securities.ok.gov, by phone at 405/280-7700, or in writing at:  Oklahoma Department of Securities, 204 North Robinson, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, OK 73102