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Early Detection and Reporting Are Critical Steps to Prevent Elder Financial Abuse

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (May 24, 2023) – The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is proud to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Senior Safe Act, an important tool in the ongoing fight against senior financial exploitation. The Senior Safe Act addresses barriers financial professionals may face in reporting suspected financial exploitation or abuse to authorities.

Signed into law on May 24, 2018, and enacted as part of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, the Act is designed to “enlist financial institutions as allies in the fight against financial abuse of older adults by allowing banks, credit unions, investment advisers and brokers to report suspected fraud to law enforcement without fear of being sued, as long as they have trained their employees in how to detect suspicious activity.”

The Senior Safe Act also complements state laws based on the NASAA Model Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation. NASAA’s model act mandates reporting to a state securities regulator and state adult protective services agency when an investment professional has a reasonable belief that financial exploitation of an eligible adult has been attempted or has occurred.

“The Senior Safe Act is a critical piece of legislation that came about in large part because of the hard work state regulators are doing every day to protect older investors.” said Andrew Hartnett, NASAA President and Iowa’s Deputy Insurance Commissioner. “We welcome the ongoing efforts by our regulatory partners and the financial services industry to fully implement the Act as we work to stop the fraudsters who prey on unsuspecting investors.”

In this time of online, phone, and AI scams, the Senior Safe Act is needed more than ever to help protect older investors from fraud and abuse. According to NASAA’s 2022 Enforcement Report, NASAA’s U.S. members opened 605 investigations and secured 304 enforcement actions involving older Americans. These cases involved a variety of tactics and products ranging from traditional sales of unregistered securities to an increasing number of illegal promotions tied to precious metals to romance scams designed to exploit older investors. Recent reports published by the FBI and FTC similarly show an alarming increase in scams targeting older investors.

The Act is designed to eliminate barriers financial professionals may face in reporting suspected senior financial exploitation or abuse to authorities and was modeled after Maine’s Senior$afe Program. That program was the result of a joint effort between regulators and the financial and legal communities to help financial and banking employees identify and prevent the financial abuse and exploitation of older investors and vulnerable adults. The Act was intended to “empower and encourage” financial services firms and employees to identify warning signs of financial exploitation and help prevent older investors from becoming victims.

Learn more about protecting older investors at NASAA’s Serve Our Seniors website.


About NASAA:

Organized in 1919, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. NASAA is a voluntary association whose membership consists of the securities regulators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the 13 provincial and territorial securities regulators in Canada, and the securities regulator in México. For more information, visit 

For More Information:

Fred Baldassaro, Director of Communications | 202-737-0900

Karen Grajales, Communications and Investor Outreach Manager  | 202-737-0900

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