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New Law Aims To Protect Texas Seniors From Financial Exploitation

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A state law that took effect this month sets new standards to protect older adults from financial abuse.

At least 759 Texans aged 65 or older who resided at home were victims of exploitation by someone they had a relationship with, according to 2015 data from Texas Adult Protective Services.

The Elder Financial Protection Law aims to prevent financial scams and abuse by enabling others, including financial advisors, to step forward and protect the vulnerable from fraud.

Caregivers cashing a social security check or misusing a joint checking account are common examples of exploitation.

As of September 1, banks and other financial institutions are required to investigate and report any unauthorized attempts to take, withhold, or use personal assets to the adult protective services division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

What are the signs of this kind of exploitation and what can be done? Will these new measures help protect senior Texans from being taken advantage of financially? 

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi
Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.