Elder financial abuse is a virulent problem with no one easy solution. But increasingly law enforcement, government and private organizations, and individuals are addressing the scourge. Here, we update what's going on, in both big and small ways.

New Consumer Protections

• In mid-September, the board of governors of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority approved a rulemaking to allow investment companies to place temporary holds on disbursements of funds or securities from the accounts of investors aged 65 or older when there is a reasonable belief that financial exploitation is involved. The hold rule also would apply to individuals aged 18 and older with certain mental or physical limitations that could render them unable to protect their own interests, when financial exploitation is suspected. The hold mirrors a law now in place in several states that gives investment companies the ability—but not the requirement—to place holds in the event of suspected financial exploitation.

• A proposed Department of Labor rule that would require financial advisers to act as fiduciaries when managing retirement accounts continues to receive both backing and criticism. The DOL's proposal could protect seniors and others from investment advice on their IRAs and other retirement accounts that doesn't serve their financial interests. For instance, it could potentially reduce the sale of high-fee investment products that benefit the advisers more than clients. Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, supports the DOL rule.

News About Scam Victims and Perpetrators

Our special report, "Lies, Secrets, and Scams: How to Prevent Elder Abuse," focused on several victims and perpetrators. Here's the latest in their cases:

• Sanjay Williams, 26, of Montego Bay, Jamaica, was sentenced on Nov. 24 to 20 years in prison for his part in a lottery scam that cost at least 80 Americans more than $5.6 million. Williams was found guilty of 35 counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud or mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and 35 counts of wire fraud. The sentencing took place in U.S. Federal Court in Bismarck, N.D.

• In early September, Dennis Cline faced a pending violation of probation for nonpayment of restitution to Phillip and Mary Jane Deeb. According to the Florida Department of Corrections the offender missed payments in July and August 2015, and as of Sept. 1 still owed $93,403.03.