While anyone is susceptible to financial crime, the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Elder financial abuse continues to be a growing crime, and as such is increasingly drawing the focus of law enforcement. Though elder financial abuse typically involves theft by deception or coercion, the parameters are expanding and can encompass neglect of financial resources. In addition to the financial toll, victim(s) may suffer emotional distress stemming from embarrassment, fear of loss of independence, and intimidation by the perpetrator(s). Further, such abuse may not even be reported due to a lack of awareness that a crime may actually be occurring.
Financial institutions are uniquely positioned to spot and report suspicious activities. Our role includes having trained staff that can recognize the key indicators or red flags and can acting quickly and appropriately. This session will equip you with the necessary information to assist law enforcement and strengthen your program.
Elder Financial Abuse is broadly known to involve conduct of a fraudulent or criminal nature pertaining to the taking of money or property from an older person. It often involves coercion, deception or undue influence from individuals in trusted positions in relation to the victim.
The indicators of Elder Financial Abuse can be evident but other times difficult to recognize. Victims may be reluctant to come forward or even to cooperate. Financial professionals who may be close to the victims are often in the best position to recognize the red flags of financial abuse.
The role of financial institutions and financial crimes professionals is to educate, mitigate and report when necessary. Train staff to recognize unusual activity related to elder clients and how to communicate those concerns to the appropriate personnel or other interested parties, such as Adult Protective Services or suspicious activity reporting. Also, understand advice or tools that can be used to reduce the risk of elder financial abuse.