The success of the "financial planner" certification in capturing the imagination and trust of the public is evident in the sad fact that criminals are now using it to worm their way into the homes of the elderly.
A door-to-door identity theft scam in the Houston-Galveston region is picking up credit card numbers and other sensitive financial information from seniors by posing as an itinerant planner.
The crook doesn't actively solicit funds from the people he drops in on, claiming to be a planner "with the Area Agency of Aging" -- a real organization. Instead, he gets them to install "debt solving software" on their computers, which then harvests their account information for later use.
Naturally, your clients are not going to be susceptible to this, but if one crook has the idea, you can bet it will spread around the country fairly quickly. If you have contacts in the local senior services community, it's good citizenship -- and good outreach -- to let them know they should keep their eyes out.
And of course, the fewer fake "planners" out there, the better.