National Senior Fraud Awareness Day (May 15)
On National Senior Fraud Awareness Day (May 15), the Securities Division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (“TDCI”) reminds the families, friends, and loved ones of older Tennesseans that they can help protect vulnerable Tennesseans by keeping a watchful eye for signs of elder exploitation and promptly reporting possible abuse to the appropriate authorities.
Individuals with suspicions of possible senior investment fraud or financial exploitation should contact Tennessee’s Securities Division by calling 615-741-5900 or visiting tn.gov/securities.
To combat potential investment fraud from occurring, TDCI’s Securities Division is urging financial investors to provide their financial firms with a trusted contact.
A trusted contact is a person you authorize your financial firm to contact in limited circumstances, such as if there is a concern about activity in your account and they have been unable to get in touch with you.
A trusted contact may be a family member, attorney, accountant or another third-party who you believe would respect your privacy and know how to handle the responsibility. You may establish more than one trusted contact.
Having one or more trusted contacts provides another layer of safety on your account and puts your financial firm in a better position to help keep your account safe. Naming someone as a trusted contact does not give that person the authority to act on your behalf, execute transactions, or reengage in activity in your account.
Instead, a trusted contact may be asked to confirm your current contact information, health status or the identity of any legal guardian, executor, trustee, or holder of a power of attorney. U.S. broker-dealers are required to provide a written disclosure that lays out these details.
You might be asked to add a trusted contact when you log on to your investment account online. Your financial firm may send notices to you, via email or regular mail, that include instructions for adding a trusted contact to your account. Before clicking on any link in an email notice about a trusted contact, make sure you verify that your firm sent the email.
If you do decide to name a trusted contact, you might want to reach out your trusted contact in advance to let them know.
To learn more about the importance of having a trusted contact, visit this blog post from TDCI’s Securities Division.
- FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors® | 844-57-HELPS (844-574-3577)
- SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy | investor.gov
- NASAA Investor Education | nasaa.org/investor-education
Rachel Carden serves as the Director of Investor Education for the Securities Division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.