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Preventing Elderly Financial Abuse in Our Communities

Community CARE Posted on December 10, 2019

When it comes to protecting our customers, we take education seriously. Learn how our leaders in compliance and security strive to support local seniors in protecting their identity.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Suspicious Activity Reports on Elder Financial Exploitation, over 180,000 suspicious activities targeting aging individuals amounted to over $6 billion in exploited finances since they began tracking in 2013. This statistic is staggering, considering most believe that this issue is still underreported. The issue has become so rampant that 24 states in the U.S. enacted legislation or resolutions of varying degrees to address the problem.

Educating Aging Customers and Communities

With the progression of technology, seniors are more vulnerable than ever. That’s why the Carter Bank & Trust team has made it a priority to stay on top of trends, make sure we use the latest security technology and educate our customers and communities about potential threats.

“Elder financial exploitation may soon be called the crime of the 21st century,” says Senior Vice President and Compliance Director Donna White. “Older Americans become attractive targets because they have more assets and in most cases stable income.”

Along with White, Vice President and Safety and Security Director Mark Davis and Security investigative analyst Laura Stanley have worked diligently to compile the most up to date resources and education surrounding elderly financial abuse. With backgrounds in compliance, law enforcement and investigative analysis, respectively, they leverage their combined expertise to provide these resources to the communities that Carter Bank & Trust serves through speaking engagements at community centers and retirement communities.

“Banks can play an important role in preventing and responding to this type of abuse,” White says. “It’s important to get that information out in our communities to make seniors aware and educate them on what to watch out for.”

In each session, the Carter team provides a variety of resources to seniors:

  • Warning signs of suspicious activities or individuals
  • How to identify signs of active exploitation
  • Up to date trends on the latest scams
  • How to report financial exploitation

Prevention and Protection in Action

Our team of experts regularly attend conferences and continuing education opportunities through organizations like the Virginia Bankers Association to make sure they’re equipped with the most up to date knowledge and tools in educating the public and managing potential problems with elderly customers. Davis’ and Stanley’s expertise in investigation and analysis is leveraged in talking customers through the process of investigation and litigation if there is a breach of privacy.

Carter Bank & Trust strives to make sure every transaction that processes within a branch or through our online banking platform is compliant and secure. By offering features like secure eStatements to replace paper statements, we’re making strides to protect our customers’ personal information every chance we can get.

If you believe your information or an aging loved one’s information is in danger of being compromised, we encourage you to reach out to Carter’s Customer Contact Center at 833.ASK.CBAT (833.275.2228) or as soon as possible. We can talk you through the process of securing your personal information and investigating any breaches.

If you would like to host an educational session about preventing financial abuse at your organization, the team at Carter Bank & Trust would love to share their knowledge. To book a speaking engagement, contact Carter’s Customer Contact Center at 833.ASK.CBAT (833.275.2228) or to learn more.

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