Banks can help prevent and report suspected elder financial abuse
I always include the original source, but I will say that this video is actually pretty accurate, even if a little bit of bad acting is involved. I find it very surprising that Wells Fargo could shut off my account and notify me if I made a transaction in a foreign country, but not if my client's spending suddenly increased to more than 5 times what her monthly spending used to be.
Bank employees should take notice not only if someone shifty is trying to gain power, but also if spending habits change. If you see them writing large checks to unknown or suspicious entities, especially on a regular basis and where there is no prior history, you should report.
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has some great information on preventing elder financial abuse:
Frauds and thefts against the elderly by people they know and trust are surprisingly common. Examples cited by the Justice Department and other sources include stealing money; cashing checks without permission; transferring the ownership of property (see Fake Documents Used to "Steal" Homes); committing identity theft; "borrowing" funds without intending to repay; and denying services to the elderly person – even medical care – to pocket the money.
Friends and relatives also have convinced senior citizens to add their name onto bank accounts, living trusts or wills (perhaps as the sole beneficiary) or grant a power of attorney (giving total control over the person's financial affairs). "One problem identifying certain frauds as frauds is that, on the surface, the actions involved can be for legitimate purposes," said Michael Benardo, manager of the FDIC's Financial Crimes Section. "What makes the matter worse is when the elderly person can't or won't report a fraud, perhaps because they're ashamed to admit that they've allowed themselves to be taken advantage of by someone they loved or trusted."
Seniors and their loved ones should be very suspicious if they notice any of the following:
- A relative or caregiver becomes extremely interested in the elderly person's financial affairs.
- A caregiver is reluctant to spend money on necessary medical treatment.
- Someone prevents the elderly person from talking on the phone or doesn't pass along phone messages.
- There are unauthorized withdrawals from checking or savings accounts.
- The caregiver claims that some money is "missing." Or, there are new or recently changed legal documents, such as wills or "powers of attorney" that give this other person rights to conduct transactions.
What should you do in these circumstances? "Talk to another family member, a lawyer who could intervene on your behalf, or someone else you know you can trust," advised Susan van den Toorn, an FDIC attorney.
While their recommendation is to simply contact an attorney, that may not do enough to prevent the financial exploitation of someone who has no close family who could represent the interests of the abused person. If you suspect an elder is being financially abused, report it immediately to the Washington State Department of Health - Aging and Disability Services Administration. You can report the abuse by calling 1-866-363-4276, anytime, day or night. You can also report it to your local Adult Protective Services Office.
Hat tip to @medicalnotice for the link
RT @MedicalNotice: Video: Help Prevent Finacial Elder Abuse . If Only more banks would do this ! http://bit.ly/hruD7W #elderly #eldercarechat #senior: "RT @MedicalNotice: Video: Help Prevent Finacial Elder Abuse . If Only more banks would do this ! http://bit.ly/hruD7W #elderly #eldercarechat #senior"