Archive for the ‘Stop Financial Abuse of Seniors’ Category

Regulators Try to Stop Financial Abuse of Seniors

June 18, 2013

WASHINGTON –Two federal regulators are teaming up to help prevent financial exploitation of the elderly.

A new curriculum developed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aims to help the elderly avoid being subject to financial scams and frauds.

Seniors are considered easy targets for predators, the regulators say. Insurance company MetLife MET +2.12%has found that older Americans lose $2.9 billion a year due to financial abuse.

Known as “Money Smart for Older Adults” the curriculum  is designed to teach seniors and their care-givers about financial scams.  It is also designed to ensure that older adults plan for a future in which they lose the capability to make financial decisions.

Officials envision the 2 1/2-hour curriculum being taught by providers of services to seniors as well as bank employees. It covers issues including veterans scams, identify theft, medical identify theft, scams involving reverse mortgages, planning for unexpected events and disaster planning.

Earlier this year, the CFPB found in a report that seniors are often confused by a wide array of professional titles designed to convey financial expertise.

Seniors, family members and care-givers should be wary of signs of financial abuse, said Richard Cordray, the agency’s director.

“Sometimes the indicators are obvious:  funds disappearing from accounts, bills that go unpaid, belongings that are missing,” Mr. Cordray said. “Sometimes they are more subtle, such as electronic or ATM withdrawals that fly under the radar or a new friend or acquaintance showing up with power of attorney or being added on a joint account.”

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Regulators Try to Stop Financial Abuse of Seniors