Financial Exploitation of Seniors: The Most Common Form of Elder Abuse

Money_settlementRecent studies suggest that financial exploitation of older adults is the most common form of elder abuse, and only a small fraction of incidents are reported.  Older adults are attractive targets because they may have significant assets or equity in their homes.  They can also be especially vulnerable to schemes for a variety of reasons, including cognitive decline that can impair their ability to recognize financial exploitation and scams.

It makes sense that financial institutions could play a key role in preventing and detecting elder financial exploitation by spotting irregular transactions, account activity, or behavior and reporting to the proper authorities, but rules governing what financial institutions can disclose and how have caused confusion.

Seven federal regulatory agencies have now issued guidance to clarify that the privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act generally permit financial institutions to report suspected elder financial abuse to appropriate authorities.  They have described possible signs of abuse which may trigger the filing of a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to report suspected elder financial exploitation.  We hope this new guidance will help banks play a larger role in protecting their elderly customers from the devastating consequences of financial exploitation.

Tagged with: Financial Abuse Financial Exploitation Seniors

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About the Author: Marian Rosen