Tips for preventing elder financial abuse


WASHINGTON, D.C. — World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (celebrated June 15) and the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) and Commercial Bank are providing tips for preventing the disturbing trend of elder financial abuse.

“Community bankers serve a vital role in protecting members of our communities, including the elderly who are all too often targets of financial abuse,” said ICBA Chairman Jack Hartings. “It’s important for all Americans to be aware of this very real issue and learn about ways to help prevent elder financial abuse from happening. If you have questions or concerns about the safety and security of your finances, you should speak to your local community banker immediately.”

ICBA, SHCPF and Commercial Bank offer the following suggestions on ways to prevent elder financial abuse:

• Secure all of your valuables in a bank safety deposit box. These valuables can include your Social Security card, passports, credit card account numbers, will and other legal documents, financial statements and medical records.

• Do not give financial information to callers who contact you and claim to be from established organizations such as your bank or credit card companies, especially if they ask you to wire funds or send them private information. If you are concerned about your bank account, contact your local community bank directly.

• Check your bank accounts and bill statements carefully. If you notice unauthorized charges, alert your bank immediately.

• Do not give your personal information, such as bank account numbers or PINs, to anyone in a phone call, letter, email, fax or text message.

• Have enough money set aside to support yourself and your immediate family for at least six months in case of an emergency. Your local community banker can help create a financial roadmap for you and your family.

“Elder financial abuse and scamming techniques are at epidemic proportions across our country. SHCPF is dedicated to providing educational resources to help our nation’s seniors and their family members on ways to protect themselves against financial exploitation,” said Edward J. Gentry, chairman, president and CEO of the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation. “We are encouraging every community banker to spread the word on ways to prevent elder financial abuse and exploitation to every senior citizen and their adult family members.”

“Keeping our customers’ information safe and preventing any type of financial abuse is a top priority,” said Michelle Huddleston, Senior Vice President. “Commercial Bank can address any questions or concerns you might have in regards to preventing elder financial abuse, whether it is for you or a family member.”

For more information about the SHCPF or to order the Preventing Elder Financial Abuse Video Toolkit, visit www.SHCPFoundation.org.

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