OAK BROOK – The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) today hosts a summit to strengthen ways state and federal agencies work together with financial institutions to protect against financial exploitation of older adults. This third annual Summit on the Prevention of Elder Financial Fraud and Abuse is part of the Adult Protective Services conference IDoA hosts each year.
“Financial exploitation accounts for most of the reported cases of elder abuse,” said IDoA Director John K. Holton, Ph.D. “I want to thank our partners, presenters, and staff who have worked on this summit. Today’s summit is just one example of the state’s aggressive efforts to protect seniors from this type of abuse.”
State law requires employees of financial institutions who have direct contact with customers to undergo training to identify the indicators of financial exploitation, as well as how to report exploitation.
“We continue to work closely with the Department on Aging and with Illinois’ financial institutions to make sure that both management and staff know the signs of possible exploitation,” said Manuel Flores, Acting Secretary, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).
The Illinois Department on Aging, in cooperation with IDFPR, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of the U.S. Office for Older Americans, has invited bank and credit union employees who will benefit from information presented. Workshops include helping consumers protect assets, training to avoid financial abuse, and how to detect and prosecute fraud.
Featured speaker for today’s seminar is Terry Savage, author and nationally recognized expert on personal finance, the economy and the markets. Financial exploitation is the most commonly reported form of abuse against older adults. Ms. Savage will present the “Savage Truth about Protecting Our Elders’ Money.”
There are warning signs of financial exploitation. Older adults should be suspicious of someone who:
• Obtains access to checks written to you, your personal accounts or ATM card.
• Charges you excessive rent or fees for basic services.
• Coerces you into signing checks/personal asset documents by force, manipulation, intimidation or threat.
• Fraudulently uses a power of attorney/fiduciary authority to alter your will, obtain access to your assets.
• Indicates he/she will stop providing care unless you give him/her more money or assets.
• Steals money or assets from you.
Anyone who suspects an older adult is being mistreated should call the Illinois Department on Aging 24 hour Adult Protective Services Hotline at 1-866-800-1409. For more information log on to: http://www.illinois.gov/aging/ProtectionAdvocacy/Pages/abuse.aspx.