Target 2 Consumer Alert: New rules to prevent financial fraud

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WBAY) – According to local financial firms, seniors lose about $38 billion a year to fraud, and half of that is financial fraud.

It may seem like a bad situation, but there are new rules to protect older Americans and their savings as a result of the booming fraud.

Financial firms are now able to do something they previously couldn't and that’s to put a hold on withdrawals they believe could be questionable.

Co-owner of Secure Retirement Solutions in Ashwaubenon, Dean Listle, said with the growing amount of senior fraud, something needed to be done.
"To a certain degree, financial advisors had their hands tied, because you really had to send withdrawals through,” said Listle.

That changed this month with new rules by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It’s calling it the "first uniform national standards to protect senior investors."

"What it allowed people to do such as myself, financial advisors, is we could put a pause on some of the withdrawals if we felt there was some sort of fraud,” said Listle.

Also with the new rules, financial firms will ask for a trusted person they can contact.

"That contact doesn't necessarily have to be a beneficiary and they can't make financial decisions within the portfolio, but we can now get a hold of the key contact and ask them there is something that's changing in this person's life. We can now bounce questions off these people to make sure the withdrawal is legitimate,” said Listle.

Listle said they'll explain these important changes to older clients which is all to protect them.

“You don't want to offend them, we have to make them aware to sit down and talk and in this day unfortunately there's a lot of fraud and we just want to take care of it,” said Listle.

If you have more question on the new financial rules, click here.