Every year, elderly Americans are victims of financial abuse and fraud. This mistreatment comes from international scammers, unscrupulous businesses here in the U.S. and even the care providers and loved ones closest to the victim.
No matter who engages in this heinous behavior, it can rob seniors of critical resources and jeopardize the legacy they leave behind. As such, tackling financial abuse of the elderly remains an important task. And now, more banks are working to provide protection.
Training and other measures
According to a recent study, about 90 percent of banks now provide special training to staff that helps them identify elder financial abuse. One training measures involves designating a person to whom elderly customers and their loved ones may consult about potential fraud and abuse of a senior.
Nearly all banks also follow up with seniors they suspect are victims of fraud, either by phone or in person.
A survey also revealed that about 56 percent of banks host community education and outreach events for the elderly, and more than 80 percent of the responding banks work with local Adult Protective Services to collaborate fraud detection efforts.
Further, some banks require information from senior customers that identifies a trusted contact and power of attorney they may consult in the event that abuse concerns arise.
Combining efforts to increase protection
These and other efforts by financial institutions to identify and prevent elderly financial abuse can be reassuring. However, they alone cannot put a stop to every instance of misconduct. To further protect a senior in your life, you must also take various steps.
Check in on elderly parents and loved ones; talk to them about common scam tactics; ask if you can review their financial records; make sure they know they can come to you with questions or concerns without judgment. These efforts, combined with legal and financial protection, can reduce the risk of being scammed.