June 10, 2013
In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, First Interstate is helping stop financial abuse of elderly customers
"The elderly are increasingly becoming targets for financial abuse," said Kelly Bruggeman, Executive Director of the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation. "At least 20 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have been victimized, and many seniors may not even realize it."
Elder financial abuse is a crime that deprives senior citizens of their resources and ultimately their independence.
Bank employees are frequently trained to notice when a customer is vulnerable or a victim of financial abuse by paying attention to red flags, such as:
These red flags can be invaluable when determining abuse - whether it is a bank employee, a close friend, or a family member.
In addition, customers can participate in protecting themselves and loved ones from financial abuse by following these simple tips:
"Being aware of warning signs and taking simple steps to safeguard personal information can mean the difference between being a victim and a fighter," Bruggeman said.
If you or someone you know is a victim of financial abuse, report the financial abuse to the victim's bank and enlist a banker's help in stopping the abuse and preventing its recurrence.
You may also contact Adult Protective Services in your area for further assistance, and you should report all instances of elder financial abuse to the local police.
For more information, visit the National Committee to Prevent Elder Abuse and click on Financial Abuse.