Toolkit to protect seniors from financial exploitation
The Oregon Bankers Association and Oregon State Department of Human Services have partnered to prevent financial exploitation of Oregons most vulnerable citizens.
Together they have launched a new version of the toolkit, Preventing Elder Financial Exploitation: How Banks Can Help.
This resource will soon be in the hands of every bank doing business in Oregon, which means 20,000 bank employees will be better prepared to detect possible financial abuse and exploitation.
The kit includes a comprehensive training manual and DVD with example scenarios of financial exploitation. It is also available online at oregonbankers.com/community/elder-exploitation-prevention.
Financial exploitation and abuse constitutes over 40 percent of DHSs substantiated community abuse claims and is the number one form of adult abuse in Oregon, said Marie Cervantes, director of DHSs Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations. Bankers are key gatekeepers, the first line of defense and have a great impact on the ability to curb this problem. We are delighted to partner with OBA on this project to protect vulnerable Oregonians from financial abuse.
Cervantes said that while elder financial abuse is happening around the entire state, statistics are showing it was most prevalent last year in Multnomah, Jackson, Josephine, Coos and Curry counties.
Elder financial exploitation is a significant problem affecting millions of seniors across the country, said Linda Navarro, president and CEO of the Oregon Bankers Association. Banks are in a unique position to spot potential financial abuse. We are committed to working with Adult Protective Services on this project and helping to ensure that Oregon seniors live safely and with dignity.
According to Cervantes, statistics tell us the perpetrators of abuse are:
According to Navarro, OBA will hold a series of free train the trainer education sessions to teach bank supervisors and branch managers how to use the kit and effectively train bank employees to spot and stop potential elder financial abuse. The training sessions will take place later this year in Portland, Bend, Eugene, Medford, Pendleton and Salem.
According to DHS, some of the warning signs for financial exploitation include:
For more information on financial exploitation, view the DHS APS annual report online at oregon.gov/DHS/abuse/pages/index.aspx.
The OBA offers the following advice to seniors and all Oregonians protecting their hard-earned dollars: