World Elder Abuse Awareness
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World Elder Abuse Awareness

The United Nations has designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This day’s aim is to focus attention on the issue of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of elders.

The U.S. Census reports that by the year 2050, people over age 65 will make up approximately 20 percent of the population. Fighting elder fraud is not a competitive issue for FSR members – it’s a duty.

Find out below what the financial services industry is doing to encourage others to recognize the problem of elder abuse and create policies that prevent people from taking advantage of our older generations.

Refuse Elder Abuse: FSR Members Thwart Fraud Perpetrators
Roxane Schneider

Roxane Schneider is a Senior Manager, BITS Fraud Reduction. BITS is the technology policy division of the Financial Services Roundtable.

Fraud and financial abuse schemes targeting the elderly are a growing problem in the United States that cost victims at least $2.9 billion in 2010 alone.

With the evolution of technology, criminals are finding new ways to target the money of vulnerable consumers. The Financial Services Roundtable’s member companies are leaders in the elder fraud prevention field, working around the clock to aggressively identify red flags and hinder illicit criminal activity.

According to the Scam Awareness Alliance, popular corruption schemes include Romance Scams, where older, often lonely Americans conned into wiring money to an anonymous love interest they’ve met online. Other scams include Lottery Scams and Person-in-Need Scams, which are featured in the alliance’s series of online ads.

Why is the elder population the bulls-eye for fraudsters? Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA), a non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company, notes that the elder population is typically more trusting, likely to spend time alone, often inclined to answer their door and phone at home and are hesitant to report suspected fraud. Not only does Wells Fargo Advisors, provide guidance for the financial protection of older investorsbut the bank is also at the forefront of collaboration, halting fraud before it occurs. WFA is gearing up to announce the development of a new division of 15,146 advisors represented from all 50 states, allowing elder financial abuse cases flow through a centralized point, enhancing the investigation and reporting process to state Adult Protective Service departments.

Read Roxane Schneider’s full blog post here.

Financial Service Industry Efforts

Check out this fraud guide.
Comerica also has a informative presentation on elder abuse.

Bank of Hawaii provides this instructive seminar.

M&T has useful tips and hints for keeping older Americans financially safe.

Union Bank has this in-depth report on protecting older Americans.

Webster is a proud supporter of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Webster hosts in-person seminars with senior citizens, teaching them ways to protect themselves from scams.

Check out this presentation and this screensaver that HSBC created to help prevent elder abuse.

Edward Jones is a major supporter of elder fraud prevention, recognizing this population is often a target.

They also have resources to prevent computer intrusiongrandparent scams, and collection fraud.

Look out for these red flags provided by Regions.

USAA has compiled a comprehensive guide on abuse warning signs.

Wells Fargo provides this guide to financial protection for older investors.

Senior_housing

The Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) promotes awareness of elder financial abuse through the use of the “Preventing Elder Financial Abuse Video Toolkit.”

The video information was adapted from the FDIC / CFPB Money Smart for Older Adults. SHCPF is a partner of the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA).

Visit www.SHCPFoundation.org for additional information or call 1-877-232-0859.