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Preventing Elderly Financial Abuse, Part 2

Education Posted on September 29, 2020

Keeping our customer’s personal information safe has always been a top priority for Carter Bank & Trust. We care about protecting our customers from the risk of fraud and believe it’s our obligation and a privilege. Part of that process is equipping our customers with the knowledge they need to protect themselves. That’s why we have hosted various financial education sessions such as our Elder Abuse Prevention Workshop. In a year in-person sessions have been restricted, we’re bringing our knowledge to you online!

What is Elder Financial Abuse?

The Older Americans Act of 2006 defines elder financial abuse as “the fraudulent or otherwise illegal, unauthorized, or improper act or process of an individual, including a caregiver or fiduciary, that uses resources of an older individual for monetary or personal benefit, profit, or gain, that results in depriving an older individual of rightful access to, or use of, benefits, resources, belongings, or assets.”

Older Americans are targets for elder financial abuse because they typically have more assets,a stable income and declining independence. It’s a prevalent form of fraud in the United States and around the world. Exploitation can come from a loved one that is taking advantage of their close relationship, or a scammer who has manipulated or coerced the individual with some kind of scheme.

Indicators of Adult Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation

While elder abuse can go unnoticed for a long time, there are some indicators that could raise a red flag about the security of assets and personal information (i.e. like identity and credentials). Here are some big red flags to look for:

  • Unusual or uncharacteristic financial activity or transactions that are inconsistent with normal activity.
  • Unawareness or confusion about recent financial transactions
  • Isolation from others
  • New acquaintances spending more time than usual  in or outside the home
  • Large sum withdrawals or transactions
  • Physical signs of abuse
  • Unexplained disappearance of personal belongings, funds, or valuables

What to Do If You Suspect Financial Exploitation

If you suspect a loved one or someone you know is being financially abused, you should consider contacting Adult Protective Services (APS). Virginia law states that an employee agent, qualified individual, or representative of a bank, trust company, savings institution, loan association, consumer finance company, credit union, investment company, securities firm, accounting firm, or insurance company may report suspected financial exploitation to the local department of social services or the APS hotline.

Upon reporting financial exploitation, you should try to discover the reason for any large sum transactions or withdrawals, assist or investigate authorization and documentation enabling others to act on the older adult’s behalf and  account transaction patterns and history.  Make it a point to speak with the individual alone to gather more information.

We’re Here to Help

Carter Bank & Trust invests in industry-leading security technology to monitor and identify suspicious account activity. If there are any red flags for fraudulent activity, we will notify any account holder and provide assistance in resolving the problem. Rest assured that you’ll be cared for by Carter Bank & Trust.

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.

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