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Fighting Financial Exploitation: FINRA’s Vulnerable Adults and Seniors Team

April 30, 2024

Senior investor protection has long been a priority for FINRA, and the Vulnerable Adults and Seniors Team (VAST) is at the forefront of FINRA's efforts in this space. 

On this episode, we hear from Brooke Hickman, Director of the Vulnerable Adults and Seniors Investigative Team, Michael Paskin, a manager with VAST Investigations, and Elizabeth Yoka, a manager of the VAST Intake team, to hear how the groups work with individual investors, firms, states and other regulators to prevent and detect financial exploitation of senior and other vulnerable investors.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

2024 Annual Regulatory Oversight Report

Episode 72: Anti-Money Laundering and Elder Exploitation

Episode 128: The 2023 Senior Investor Protection Conference

Episode 105: The Essential Senior Investor Protection Tools: FINRA Rules 2165 and 4512

FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors – 844-57-HELPS (844-574-3577)

FINRA Key Topic Page: Senior Investors

FAQ Regarding FINRA’s Rules Relating to Financial Exploitation of Seniors

Trusted Contact Infographic

Listen and subscribe to our podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Below is a transcript of the episode. Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human editors and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print. 



00:00 - 00:25

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Senior investor protection has long been a priority for FINRA, and the Vulnerable Adults and Seniors Team, or VAST, is at the forefront of FINRA's efforts in this space. On this episode, we hear from members of both the VAST Intake and VAST Investigations teams to hear how the groups work with individual investors, firms, states and other regulators to prevent and detect financial exploitation of senior and other vulnerable investors. 


00:25 – 00:34

Intro Music


00:34 - 01:01

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Welcome to FINRA Unscripted. I'm your host, Kaitlyn Kiernan. I'm pleased to welcome three guests to today's show to provide an update on the work of FINRA's Vulnerable Adults and Seniors Team, or VAST. Joining us are Brooke Hickman, Director of the Vulnerable Adults and Seniors Investigative Team, Mike Paskin, a manager with VAST Investigations, and Liz Yoka, a manager of the VAST Intake team. Brooke, Mike and Liz, thanks for joining me. 


01:01 - 01:02

Mike Paskin: Nice to be here. 


01:02 - 01:25

Kaitlyn Kiernan: So, to start off, can you all introduce yourselves and share a little bit of your background and your role within VAST? Brooke, maybe we can start with you, who last joined us on our very last episode recorded in person on March 9th, 2020. So, just a few days before our worlds transformed around us. So, I'm sure a few things have changed since then. 


01:25 - 02:17

Brooke Hickman: Yes, absolutely. Thank you for having us, Kaitlyn. I can't believe that was four years ago. So, as you said, my name is Brooke Hickman. I am the director of FINRA's Vulnerable Adults and Seniors Investigations Team. I have been with FINRA for 13 years. I started in the Examination program, and then in 2015, when it was decided that FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors was going to be housed out of the Boca Raton district office, I volunteered to answer phones as an analyst. And at that time, we just weren't sure what was going to happen, if people were going to actually call or not. So, I was doing my full-time exam work while also spending a few hours answering calls. And then in 2020, I was promoted to director of VAST. And that's what I'm doing now. 


02:17 - 02:25

Kaitlyn Kiernan: It's amazing how it started out as just a side gig and how far it's come. So, Liz, how about you? 


02:25 - 03:03

Liz Yoka: Thank you for having me. My name is Liz Yoka, and I am the manager of VAST Intake. I've been with the organization now for 25 years. The majority of that time I spent as an investigator in our Examination department. And the last nine years, just like Brooke, I have been with VAST. I can honestly say that it's been my favorite department thus far. The Vulnerable Adult and Seniors Team is one of the departments within FINRA where we can live and execute FINRA's mission of investor protection and market integrity on a daily basis. VAST is truly a special team, and the work that each of us do here is so very important. 


03:04 - 03:06

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Thanks, Liz. And Mike, how about you? 


03:07 - 03:46

Mike Paskin: Thanks for having us, Kaitlyn. I'm excited to be part of FINRA Unscripted for the first time. I've been with FINRA for 16 years. The first half, I worked in market regulation, where our team was responsible for surveillances that detected abnormal trading activity on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. And the team also investigated customer complaints. I then joined VAST Investigations eight years ago, and our team is responsible for investigating abuses of financial exploitation of seniors and vulnerable adults. We're also involved in various outreach efforts that include raising awareness related to senior investor protection. Prior to my career at FINRA, I was a specialist, which is now known as a designated market maker on the floor of the NYSE. 


03:47 - 04:01

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Great. Thanks, Mike. Brooke, you mentioned that you and Liz both started out volunteering on the side answering calls. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of VAST and what this team is and why it was originally created? 


04:01 - 07:37

Brooke Hickman: Absolutely. So, senior investor protection has always been a high priority for FINRA. And that's why, in 2015, the idea came up to launch the helpline, which is really a resource for investors. Not only senior investors, but even those calling on behalf of senior investors if they have questions about their investment account, if they have concerns about the suitability of an investment product that they purchased, or if they have concerns that they have been potentially financially exploited, they can call in to the helpline. They'll get a live analyst who is well versed in finance and can help them read their account statements, can help them figure out the questions to ask their registered representative before investing in certain products. And that's how the helpline began and kind of evolved to also now being a resource for firms if they have concerns about a customer potentially exhibiting signs of diminished capacity or potentially being financially exploited. And the helpline has always had a cause program linked to it. 


Originally, our investigations were the result of intelligence that we received from a helpline call. So, if we received a call from a customer of a broker-dealer and they had concerns that maybe their registered representative put them in some type of product that wasn't suitable for them or wasn't in their best interest, our Cause team would look into that further. As things have evolved now, the Senior Helpline and the investigations program have separated. And so, of course, we still have a dotted line to each other, and we share intelligence as necessary. But the Senior Helpline is now under what we call VAST Intake, which is part of the initial review group. The larger division is the National Cause Program. And then the program that I run is VAST Investigations, and we sit within FINRA's Complex Investigations and Intelligence team. And the mission of both teams has not changed. Our mission is still to deter, detect and investigate for financial exploitation and abuse of vulnerable and senior investors. But for the investigation side, the source of our investigations has evolved, and so we don't solely rely on intelligence received from the Senior Helpline for our investigations. 


We also do our own risk scoping to look at firm trade blotters to look at firms' money movements, their customer complaints as well as registered representatives, regulatory history. And we layer that on top of each other to see if perhaps there are risks at certain firms or that lie with certain registered representatives that should be investigated further. And that's what my team is responsible for investigating. And we also, both teams, really want to continue to build our network to support intelligence sharing. So, we want to hear from firms. We want to hear what their concerns are with senior investors and elderly financial exploitation, what they're seeing, some of the best practices that they have implemented. And we really want to expand our communication strategy, and we're doing this through different publications. We're going to have a threat intelligence product that should be produced at the end of this month. We also recently completed two workshops that we offered for firms that we intend to do more of this year. We're continuing to evolve in this space. 


07:38 - 07:49

Kaitlyn Kiernan: You mentioned the blotters and some of the other elements that you are using to identify firms and reps to investigate. But Mike, can you dig into that a little bit more for us? 


07:49 - 09:59

Mike Paskin: Sure. The way we identify the investigations, firms and reps are really multifaceted. One, we work with our team and our CAU, which is FINRA's Cyber and Analytics Unit, and that's part of CII. We work with them to identify key criterion data points that have touch points to vulnerable adults and seniors, which we collectively believe pose an increased risk. So, based on our analysis and certain trends that we identify through the data, we would then select the reps or the firms to look at, which may include reviewing their senior investor protection program. It's a very fluid process though, meaning as the risks change, different scams arise that may lead to potential financial exploitation. Or perhaps there's a supervision issue at the firm. We adjust and we shift which criteria metrics to analyze and in turn, which reps or firms we should take a deeper dive into. So, it's really an ongoing collaboration between VAST and CAU, which helps us mitigate these associated threats that are most impactful. 


We also receive intelligence from internal and external stakeholders. And what that does is it assists us in determining which investigations to open also. So, for example, recently a firm exam team had a concern involving a case of potential financial exploitation of a senior. They looped us in based on our area of expertise. And then we collectively investigated the related concerns. We also receive information from our Financial Intelligence Unit that addresses certain threats or emerging trends that they may be observing related to senior investors. And an additional area we received from is what Brooke was talking about before is VAST Intake or the Securities Helpline for Seniors. So, based upon information that they receive on phone calls or tips from investors involving elder financial exploitation, or based on even initial responses from firms through their outreach, they may contact us, and we typically open an investigation. We also receive customer complaints from the initial review group that are related to seniors. For example, if a U5 disclosure is filed indicating a registered rep may have been terminated due to entering into private securities transaction or alone with a senior customer, that is generally something that we would look into. So, those are a few of the ways we decide which matters to investigate. 


09:59 - 10:12

Kaitlyn Kiernan: So, it sounds like over the years, the program has evolved to be much more comprehensive and data driven in how it determines where to focus its resources so you can focus more on the high-risk areas. 


10:12 - 10:13

Mike Paskin: Absolutely. 


10:14 - 10:19

Kaitlyn Kiernan: And Liz, how does VAST Intake work with other departments within FINRA? 


10:20 - 11:34

Liz Yoka: We have a great working relationship with VAST Investigations. Like Mike said, we receive calls on the helpline and determine if a case has to be elevated for further investigation. We will communicate first with VAST Investigation and basically give them first dibs on the exam. Most of the time these cases will involve elder financial exploitation or elder fraud. We also work very closely with our Office of Government Affairs and our Office of Regulatory Liaison. They assist us with collaborating with key stakeholders at both the state and federal level, and our regulatory partners. Additionally, VAST Intake is responsible for making enterprise-wide reporting to state Adult Protective services. When we receive information during the course of our regulatory work, there may be elder abuse or elder financial exploitation. We are mandated to make those reports to the states. Lastly, we work very closely with our Investor Education department and the resources they make available to us relating to senior investors and trending scams. We have collaborated on investor outreach events with them in the past, and hopefully some in the future as well. 


11:35 - 11:40

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Thanks, Liz. And can you share some of the trends you're seeing currently through the helpline? 


11:41 - 14:22

Liz Yoka: We've seen a consistent number of calls into the helpline for the last few years relating to scams. The top scams that we see come through on the helpline typically are romance scams, imposter scams, computer takeovers and at some times, lottery scams. Now, romance scams or pig butchering as they are sometimes called, are where a scammer will utilize a social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram or even a misdirected text message through a WhatsApp to formulate a conversation with someone, gain that person's trust and eventually present an investment scheme involving cryptocurrency or promises of high return. 


We've also had a few types of imposter scams come through on the helpline. There are firm and registered representative imposter scams, where scammers are usually obtaining information from BrokerCheck or via online searches. They will usually obtain CRD information for the registered representatives and the firms, and then they will go ahead and create a fictitious website that appears similar to the legitimate one, with the hopes of getting seniors or vulnerable adults to send money under the false pretense of making a legitimate investment. We also have FINRA or other federal agency imposters, and this is where scammers will pretend to be a government agency, such as FINRA or another agency staff, in order to obtain account or other sensitive information. The FINRA imposter related scams we see are usually repeat scams, where the imposter is now contacting someone who has previously been scammed and now, they are promising restitution or the ability to recoup their losses. But before they can get restitution, they need to send in money for taxes or for some FINRA fees. Then we see cases on our helpline relating to computer takeovers. These types of scams are where they will utilize a virus or a pop up on a potential victim's computer, whereby the person is instructed or asked to download a program so that tech support can help them remove the virus. However, the scammer then obtains full access to the computer and in most cases, the scammer will gain access to their passwords, or the victim will give them their login credentials. 


And then lastly, we've seen some cases involving lottery scams. This is where the scammers use social media or a telephone call to entice the victim into believing they won a large sum of money. However, in order to collect the money, they have to send money for fees or taxes overseas to obtain this big prize. 


14:23 - 15:17

Brooke Hickman: The scams that Liz mentioned are third-party scams. The perpetrators are outside of FINRA's jurisdiction, but it's important for brokerage firms to be aware of these scams and the way that their customers could potentially be impacted. So, if they're seeing an unusual withdrawal request, and we've seen often where the perpetrators will coach the potential victims and tell them, 'request the money to go from your brokerage account to your first name bank account,' and then from the bank account to the third party, maybe overseas or somewhere. And so, we really want to stress that brokerage firms should be aware of these red flags. And if there is an unusual withdrawal request, even if it's going to a first party bank account, to kind of ask more questions to understand what the end game is for that transaction. 


15:18 - 15:54

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Thanks, Brooke. And that's important context to add. And Liz, you mentioned your coordination with the Investor Education team. A lot of those scams, they have written Investor Insight articles about, which are targeted at investors. But firms can also use them to educate themselves, educate their customers. So, we'll link to some of those in our show notes as well. Now, Mike, you had mentioned how your team on the investigation side works closely with other teams within CII, the Complex Investigations and Intelligence unit that you're part of. But how does your team work across a broader FINRA? 


15:55 - 17:58

Mike Paskin: Brooke mentioned at the top that protecting seniors is our top priority. So, with that in mind, at the onset of many of our investigations, we collaborate within our Enforcement department. What we do is we bounce ideas off of each other and get their opinion early on in the process. So, for example, in instances involving nefarious activity or potential financial exploitation situations that are really compromising the elderly, we discuss methodical ways to tackle the investigation right from the start. If there's a senior touchpoint or it involves multiple affected customers, or there appears to be a firm wide issue. We loop in Enforcement, and we also discuss it with other departments to see if there are any synergies. We determine whether it would make sense for us to investigate in our team, or sometimes we partner with another team within FINRA and add our respective expertise. 


We also speak with our Risk Monitoring colleagues, and what we do is we provide them with regulatory intelligence based on our key observations and findings. If our investigation reveals a potential supervisory issue or something we're concerned about that may be a firm wide issue, we contact our Risk Monitoring team and give them a heads up of what we're seeing. We like to see if it's an issue that they are aware of, or something that they have looked at in the past. And quite often, Kaitlyn, after speaking with Risk Monitoring, they pass the information along to the firm exam team for consideration in an exam. Similar to VAST Intake, we also collaborate with the Office of Regulatory Liaison, ORL. So, if there's an investigation by a particular state or if we're working on our matter involving registered reps or customers in that state, and there's some elder financial exploitation concerns, we would share intelligence with ORL. ORL also provides us with updates on state visits. 


An additional example of working with other departments is by providing intelligence to our Office of General Counsel. Some of the feedback is actually assisted and informed senior specific rules to be implemented or amended. For example, our Trusted Contact Rule, or FINRA Rule 3241, which is related to registered reps being named to a position of trust, such as a beneficiary or power of attorney for a customer. So, those are really some of the key ways in which VAST Investigations interacts enterprise wide. 


17:59 - 18:12

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Great. Thanks, Mike. I'll also link to the podcast we have on the senior investor protection rules for anyone who wants to learn more about those. So, Mike, what kind of trends are you seeing on the investigation side? 


18:13 - 19:04

Mike Paskin: So, from our side, some of the most recent trends that we have seen are certainly registered reps being named to positions of trust by a customer, which may be beneficiary or being named trustee or power of attorney. Unfortunately, this sometimes is quite a surprise to the surviving spouse or family member when the estate is settled, as they were unaware the rep was named in the family member's will. We also investigate quite a few matters involving registered reps entering into promissory notes or loans with customers, including some customers who have diminished capacity or cognitive impairment. The matters are usually initiated as a family member becomes aware of the arrangement, or because the customer has not received their money back. When we speak with the firm about it, they are normally unaware of the agreement. If there happened to be one between the rep and the customer, or the firm itself may be in the process of investigating it internally. So, those are really some of the most recent trends that we have observed. 


19:06 - 19:20

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Thanks, Mike. So, Brooke, what are some of the ways that your team works with firms to help them protect their senior investors? Since I know protecting seniors is not only a priority for FINRA, but also for a number of FINRA's member firms as well. 


19:21 - 21:06

Brooke Hickman: For most member firms, we are on the same side of this issue, and they want to protect their senior investor customers as much as we want their senior investor customers to be protected. So, we in 2023 hosted a senior investor protection conference, which was a one-day event that was really dedicated to sharing up to date regulatory information, effective strategies and solutions for protecting senior and vulnerable investors from exploitation, scams and other questionable practices. We also hosted our first two workshops and we do hope to host more for firms. These two workshops focused on effectively communicating with older adults, and the goal was to educate the participants regarding the behavioral impacts of exploitation on elderly clients, and also share tips and effective practices for effectively communicating with potential victims of financial exploitation in order to improve the capabilities of industry teams that serve as the frontline defense against the exploitation of elderly clients. 


We're also continuing to look for ways to facilitate partnerships between the industry, law enforcement and other regulators in terms of intelligence sharing, what each group is seeing impacting senior and vulnerable adult investors. And then, of course, I don't think Liz would mind if I put in a plug for the Senior Helpline that is also available as a resource to firms if they have concerns that a customer is potentially being financially exploited or is showing signs of diminished capacity, they can contact the helpline and they would be able to tell them what they've seen other firms do to assist clients in these situations. 


21:07 - 21:12

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Thanks, Brooke. And, Liz, does your team do any kind of investor outreach? 


21:13 - 22:15

Liz Yoka: Definitely. We've done a few outreach events with Investor Education. We've gone to The Money Show a couple of times with Investor Education. The team and I also have attended various conferences where we host information tables and speak to attendees about the Senior Helpline, the resources available to them via our website. We have done a few senior expos as well, where we facilitate information tables and speak to attendees. VAST also recently hosted an inaugural event in Boca Raton called Bring Your Parents to Work Day. The event allowed employees to bring a parent or a senior guest into the office, and VAST provided an overview of, who is FINRA and why do we exist? It was followed by information relating to the Senior Helpline and other resources available relating to scams. Additionally, we had guest speakers from our Office of Investor Education and the FBI who spoke about trends, red flags, income and scams targeting seniors. 


22:16 - 22:35

Kaitlyn Kiernan: My mom is on the other side of the state of Florida, but hopefully I can come and participate in the next Take Your Parents to Work Day. That sounds like a great event. Mike, you mentioned your work with the Office of the Regulatory Liaison and how you coordinate with them, but is there anything else you want to spotlight about your team's work with other regulators? 


22:36 - 23:32

Mike Paskin: Sure. We work quite often with the SEC, state securities regulators as well as Adult Protective Services. If a particular matter is outside of our jurisdiction, or if we believe it warrants providing the respective agency with certain intelligence or referral, we will do so. We speak to them quite often. It is a two-way street, though, if they have something they believe should be brought to our attention or that we may be interested in, they contact us also. We also have collaborated with other regulators by getting together with NASAA and the SEC, NASAA being the North American Securities Administrators Association, to remind investors to provide their firms with a trusted contact and to discuss the importance of having a trusted contact person listen. There's a web page and link on our website,, including a visual representation that reminds investors that firms may reach out to trusted contacts, as well as what the trusted contact cannot do, such as make trades in the investor's account or make decisions about the investor's account. 


23:33 - 23:49

Kaitlyn Kiernan: And Brooke, we have heard a lot about the trends that Mike and Liz have seen in this space. But what are the primary rules that your team is focusing on related to senior investor protection, and are there any effective practices you can share? 


23:49 - 24:43

Brooke Hickman: So, Mike touched on the trusted contact person, which requires firms to make a reasonable effort to obtain the name and contact information for a trusted contact person. And this we consider under the umbrella of our senior investor protection rules. But it actually applies to all non-institutional accounts. And the trusted contact person, as Mike mentioned, doesn't have authority on the account. They can't transact on the account. They don't even know by nature of being a trusted contact person, the securities or the amounts within the account. It's simply someone that the firm can contact if they have concerns about potential financial exploitation of a customer, or even if they just can't reach a customer. So, say the customer is traveling internationally and they're not available on their cell phone. The firm can reach out to the trusted contact person just to understand the whereabouts of the customer. 


24:43 - 24:47

Kaitlyn Kiernan: So, important for all investors, not just senior investors. 


24:47 - 24:54

Brooke Hickman: Yes, absolutely. And Kaitlyn, I heard on a previous podcast that you had not named a trusted contact person. I hope that you have remedied that. 


24:55 - 24:56

Kaitlyn Kiernan: I have, I have remedied it. 


24:57 - 28:52

Brooke Hickman: Fantastic. Mike also mentioned Rule 3241, which is the rule that prohibits registered representatives from being named in a position of trust on a customer's account so they can't be named as executor, as power of attorney, as beneficiary, unless they provide written notice to the firm and receive written approval from the firm. And there's other steps that the firm has to take to ensure that there isn't a conflict of interest with the customer and the registered representative. And again, that rule applies to all customer accounts. But we've seen this activity more with senior investors. So, that's why we consider it, again, under the umbrella of senior investor protection. And then the final rule is Rule 2165, which allows a firm to place a temporary hold on the disbursement of funds or securities or on a transaction in a customer's account. If there's reasonable belief of financial exploitation. And there are guidelines that the firms have to follow if they are going to take advantage of this safe harbor and place a hold on a customer's account where they have to document their investigation into the potential financial exploitation document, if they've reported to any state securities regulators, Adult Protective Services, and also that they've notified the trusted contact person. 


And I think the most important effective practice that I can share is training, especially on the escalation procedure, because we've heard from some registered representatives that they kind of feel like they're on an island. And if they have concerns about red flags of potential financial exploitation, they don't necessarily know who to bring these concerns to within their organization. So, it's important to have an escalation plan and then train the registered representatives on that escalation plan. It's also important to train on, obviously, the red flags of elder financial exploitation and diminished capacity, and how people can be witness to those within their job function. So, someone who has face to face communication with the customer could see signs of, say, potential diminished capacity differently than someone in a call center who's just talking to a customer on the phone. So, it's important to train them how they could potentially see these red flags within their job function. And then training at regular intervals. We have heard from firms that reports of potential elder financial exploitation from their registered representatives increase just after they receive such a training. But we know that over time, the efficacy of the training diminishes, and it's not top of mind anymore. So, they're not really reporting it as much. And then once they're trained again, reports will increase again. And so, it's really important to keep this top of mind for people within the member firms. 


And we've also found that it's important to educate customers about scams. So, we have seen firms who have either emailed or printed out and mailed a lot of the resources that are available on about certain scams to their customers. Again, just to keep it front of mind. So, it's important to be proactive about it as well. And not just email this information or mail it to the customers once they have been financially exploited, but to prevent them from being financially exploited and let them know what scams are out there and what they look like. And then finally, I'll say it's really important to develop a network. It's important for firms to network with each other to discuss what they are seeing in this space and how they are handling these very sensitive situations, but also to network with Adult Protective Services, law enforcement, state regulators, so that when you are in a situation and there's little time to kind of investigate and work out the situation in order to protect the customer, you have other organizations that you can reach out to to quickly help that customer. 


28:53 - 29:04

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Thanks, Brooke. And so, as we start wrapping up, I wanted to ask, are there any particularly impactful calls or cases that stand out in your minds? 


29:04 - 29:50

Liz Yoka: In the last nine years I've been with VAST, there have been many calls that stand out in my mind, but honestly, I think the ones that truly tear at your heart strings are the situations where senior investors who are currently in their eighties or nineties, have worked their entire life to save for their retirement, and they've set aside this nest egg in an investment account, relying on their profits or dividends to live on. And within a matter of seconds, all of their money can be gone. The worst part is that all of these scammers have become so sophisticated and so good at what they do, that it's almost impossible to detect unless you were aware of the red flags to look for in these common scams. 


29:50 - 29:53

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Thanks, Liz. And Brooke, how about you? 


29:53 - 30:51

Brooke Hickman: So, there are a number that I can think of that pull at the heartstrings. But the one that I want to highlight was a caller who called in to the helpline several years ago. She had received information from her firm. She was so nervous about it she didn't understand what the letter meant. She couldn't figure out how to scan and email it to us, so she ended up having to mail it to us, and it was simply that her broker was leaving the firm and they were assigning her another broker, and there was nothing for her to do. But just hearing her over the phone and how stressed she was to not understand, just shows that something as simple as just a notice to a customer about the change of broker can really, if people don't understand and they know that this is their life savings that we're talking about, become nervous about that and have a heightened emotional state. And we were able to explain it to her and really calmed her nerves. But that's one that stands out in my mind. 


30:52 - 31:07

Kaitlyn Kiernan: That seems to tie in with another episode we had on succession planning and the importance of firms prioritizing that as well. Are there any parting words you want to share in terms of a resource our listeners should check out today? 


31:07 - 31:46

Brooke Hickman: So, I just want to talk about taking action. It's an advocate's guide to assisting victims of financial fraud. And this was done as part of FINRA's Investor Education Foundation. And it provides advocates with, really, a roadmap of how to respond after someone has been the victim of financial crime. And it even talks about managing the emotional fallout of financial fraud, and just provides a step-by-step guide that I've heard firms find very, very helpful. And of course, family members of victims have also found helpful. So, that's one that I wanted to highlight. 


31:46 - 32:08

Mike Paskin: I would say our 2024 Annual Oversight Report. I think there's really some great information there for our listeners regarding effective practices related to the rules that Brooke touched upon as some findings from some of our rules, and especially the ones obviously impacting seniors, 3241, our trusted contact rule and 2165. 


32:09 - 32:56

Liz Yoka: And as far as resources are concerned, I'd like to share our team's landing page for the Senior Helpline, which is And there you will learn all about our helpline. And you will see our phone number and operating hours. On that same page, you will also see links to the listings of FINRA investor publications. And this is a really good resource for member firms and investors. FINRA produces a number of publications, including newsletters and brochures and pamphlets targeted to members, investors, and the general public, and you can go on to that page and download a PDF or even order printed copies free of charge. So, I'd really recommend just going to that web page and taking a look around. 


32:57 - 33:30

Kaitlyn Kiernan: Great. Thank you, Brooke, Liz and Mike, for recommending those resources, which we will link to in our show notes. And more importantly, for joining me today to talk about all the great work that's happening at FINRA to protect vulnerable adults and senior investors. Listeners, if you don't already, be sure to subscribe to FINRA Unscripted wherever you listen to podcasts so you can stay up to date on all of our latest episodes. Today's episode was produced by me, Kaitlyn Kiernan, coordinated by Hannah Krobock and edited and engineered by John Williams. Until next time. 


33:30 – 33:35

Outro Music


33:35 - 34:03

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