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World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th

MainStreet Bank and ICBA Share Tips to Protect Seniors from Financial Abuse

Older Americans lose roughly $3 billion to a growing number of scams each year, according to the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging. But only one in 44 cases get reported, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association, putting the true cost as high as $35.5 billion annually.

As financial gatekeepers for the citizens of our community, we want to arm our customers—particularly those most at risk—with the knowledge to detect, prevent and report suspicious activity to safeguard themselves and their loved ones from these insidious threats. Senior members of our community have worked hard to build a financial nest egg for their golden years. You can always ask us about available resources to help protect you or your loved ones from scams and exploitation.

– Mimi Hailegiorgis, SVP Director of Retail Banking at MainStreet Bank

Here are some suggestions to help curb elder financial abuse:

  • Secure priviledged information. (such as a Social Security card, passport, financial statements, medical records, and other legal documents), in a bank safety deposit box.
  • Check your bank accounts and bill statements carefully. If you notice unauthorized charges or unusual activity, alert us bank immediately.
  • Do not disclose personal information. such as bank account numbers or PINs, to anyone claiming to be from an established organization, especially if they ask you to wire funds.
  • Plan ahead. Give a trusted person the legal authority to make financial decisions in your stead if needed. Ensure your bank has a record of who can manage your money on your behalf.
  • Contact your local adult protective services agency and law enforcement.  If you have information about a fraud or suspect you may have encountered financial abuse.

 

“Community bankers are trained to spot and stop bad actors and can be a valuable resource in sharing best practices to help you avoid becoming a victim,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Call on these trusted financial stewards to help identify prevalent scams and halt criminal activity to ensure your hard-earned plans aren’t ruined by a few bad apples.”

If you have any questions, we’re here to help!  Contact your Business Banker or Relationship Manager today to learn more about elder financial abuse and prevention strategies.

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