ICBA Provides Tips for Preventing Elder Financial Abuse

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June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) and the nation’s more than 6,000 community banks are providing tips for preventing the disturbing trend of elder financial abuse.

Community bankers serve a vital role in protecting members of our communities, including the elderly who are all too often targets of financial abuse.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) and the nation’s more than 6,000 community banks are providing tips for preventing the disturbing trend of elder financial abuse.

“Community bankers serve a vital role in protecting members of our communities, including the elderly who are all too often targets of financial abuse,” said ICBA Chairman Jack Hartings, president and CEO of The Peoples Bank Co., in Coldwater, Ohio. “It’s important for all Americans to be aware of this very real issue and learn about ways to help prevent elder financial abuse from happening. If you have questions or concerns about the safety and security of your finances, you should speak to your local community banker immediately.”

ICBA and SHCPF offer the following suggestions on ways to prevent elder financial abuse:

  • Secure all of your valuables in a bank safety deposit box. These valuables can include your Social Security card, passports, credit card account numbers, will and other legal documents, financial statements and medical records.
  • Do not give financial information to callers who contact you and claim to be from established organizations such as your bank or credit card companies, especially if they ask you to wire funds or send them private information. If you are concerned about your bank account, contact your local community bank directly.
  • Check your bank accounts and bill statements carefully. If you notice unauthorized charges, alert your bank immediately.
  • Do not give your personal information, such as bank account numbers or PINs, to anyone in a phone call, letter, email, fax or text message.
  • Have enough money set aside to support yourself and your immediate family for at least six months in case of an emergency. Your local community banker can help create a financial roadmap for you and your family.

“Elder financial abuse and scamming techniques are at epidemic proportions across our country. SHCPF is dedicated to providing educational resources to help our nation’s seniors and their family members on ways to protect themselves against financial exploitation,” said Edward J. Gentry, chairman, president and CEO of the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation. “We are encouraging every community banker to spread the word on ways to prevent elder financial abuse and exploitation to every senior citizen and their adult family members.”

For more information about the SHCPF or to order the Preventing Elder Financial Abuse Video Toolkit, visit http://www.SHCPFoundation.org.

To learn more about community banks and services they offer, visit http://www.icba.org.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 6,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit http://www.icba.org.

About The Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF)
The Foundation serves as a way for banks to earn CRA credit in the form of CRA-qualified loans, investments or grants through the operation of the nationally acclaimed Senior Crimestopper’s program. Funded exclusively by the banking industry, this program provides safe, secure and improved quality of life living environments in low and moderate income senior housing facilities, HUD communities and our nation’s Veterans homes. Banks enjoy guaranteed CRA credit, no administrative burden, installation of a turn-key program, and positive public relations exposure in their communities.

Not only does the Foundation impact the lives of the elderly, we also impact the community outside of the long-term care industry through the CRA-qualified securities we purchase on behalf of our bank partners. As March 31, 2015 the community impact has reached approximately $134 Million which goes to provide affordable home mortgages for low-to-moderate income families, affordable healthcare services, small business development providing job creation, as well as other economic development projects.

Senior Crimestoppers is a multi-faceted program that protects the elderly from theft, abuse, neglect and financial exploitation, and is administered by the Foundation who is endorsed by the ICBA, the ABA, and strong relationships with 43 bankers associations. For more information about the Foundation, visit http://www.SHCPFoundation.org or call 877-232-0859. For more information about the program, visit http://www.SeniorCrimestoppers.com or call 800-529-9096.

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Aleis Stokes
Independent Community Bankers of America
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