This Saturday, June 15, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Each year, older bank customers lose approximately $2.9 billion to fraud, but it is suspected that number is drastically underestimated because only 1 in 44 seniors report financial abuse. “Scammers are always developing new ways to rip people off, and sadly, they often target our seniors for numerous reasons,” said Bruce Whitehurst, VBA president and CEO. “Sadly, almost 90% of the financial abuse committed against older Americans is at the hands of someone they know and trust.”
Bankers across Virginia participate in Safe Banking for Seniors, a program sponsored by the American Bankers Association, that works to combat this growing problem. This program provides free resources and tools for bankers to use with their senior customers and their caregivers.
DeMarion Johnston, VBA General Counsel, recently wrote an article for Richmond Family Magazine that shares strategies to help seniors stay secure. The article includes tips for seniors and their caregivers as well as ways to identify the signs of elder financial abuse. You can read her article here. VBA Endorsed Provider CRA Partners recently published an article, "Engaging Your Elderly Customers," that focuses on ways your bank can engage with your elderly customers and why this engagement should be a priority.
Due to the success of the VBA’s February Elder Financial Exploitation Seminar, we will be holding this event again on September 9, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. This event is designed to help you and your financial institution meet the provisions outlined in the Senior Safe Act and will include:
Learn more and register for this seminar here.
If you suspect elder financial abuse is happening to a family member or loved one, please make a report to the Adult Protective Services (APS) unit of one of the 119 local departments of social services or call the toll-free, 24-hour APS hotline at (888) 832-3858. Reports can be made anonymously.