Banks Can Help Fight Financial Exploitation of Elderly People
Elderly people can be vulnerable to financial exploitation. Seniors seem like easy targets to scammers and others who want to take advantage of people who may have cognitive limitations or other health problems, may be isolated or may lack knowledge of technology. Older people lose tens of billions of dollars every year in the United States because of financial elder abuse.
The statistics are depressing, but there are steps that can be taken to help protect the vulnerable elderly. If you have an elderly loved one who you think may be a victim of financial abuse, you can talk to an elder abuse lawyer to find out more about how to obtain justice. On a society-wide level, some cities and law enforcement units have already created programs to fight against financial exploitation of the elderly. You can let your representatives know that more resources need to be devoted to developing a greater number of these programs that have been proven to work in uncovering and preventing elder financial abuse.
How Can Banks Help Fight Elder Financial Abuse?
Other institutions can play a role too. Banks, especially community banks, could be helpful in discovering cases of fraud committed against the elderly. That is because older people are more likely to do their banking in person, rather than at an ATM or online. Over time, elderly customers become familiar to the employees at the bank, who would then be more likely to spot anything out of the ordinary.
Community banks could increase their effectiveness in fighting financial elder abuse by taking a few steps:
- Train their staff to spot the warning signs of financial exploitation of the elderly, to detect more cases of fraud.
- Create guidelines for what employees should do when they suspect financial abuse, to help ensure that every case gets the attention it needs.
- Encourage staff to develop even more of a rapport with elderly customers, to help foster a sense of trust and willingness to communicate.
- Educate their customers on the signs of fraud and on ways that loved ones can protect the elderly from scams.
If you ever suspect that a loved one has become a victim, contact Garcia, Artigliere & Medby at 1-800-281-8515. An elder abuse attorney will be glad to talk to you and tell you more about how we fight for the rights of the elderly to live free from financial abuse.