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Oregon bans bogus credentials

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Oregon brings to nine the number of states cracking down on misleading financial and insurance credentials which might be used to defraud seniors. “I think it’s past due,” said Dan Foster, CFP, CPA and president of the Financial Planning Association of Oregon & SW Washington. “There is an alphabet soup of designations out there that only confuses the consumer.”

The new rules forbid the use of any title that doesn’t require reasonable training, experience and continuing education. Certifications with the terms “senior” or “elder” together with “specialist” or “consultant” are of particular concern to the state. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which oversees securities firms has identified 86 designations currently in use but does not endorse any of them.

Oregon officials plan to issue a list of credible titles, said spokeswoman Lisa Morawski. A senior who suspects a broker of using an inappropriate title should contact the department’s insurance division or division of finance and corporate securities.

Approved titles must be issued by an organization certified by the Department of Education, the American National Standards Institute, the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, the Insurance Institute of America or the American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters.

Insurance department spokesman Cheryl Martinis said, “We got it done in time for the Medicare enrollment season.”


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