New Initiative to Fight Senior Financial Abuse  

Senior Fraud and Abuse

Today, Lt. Governor Dan McKee, Chair of Rhode Island’s Long-Term Care Coordinating Council, announced he has teamed up with the Credit Unions of Rhode Island and Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena to launch the CU Senior Safeguard, an online website educational program developed to fight the financial scams and fraud targeting the older Rhode Islanders.

“Elder financial abuse is an invisible epidemic impacting thousands of Rhode Islanders and seniors across the country. Unfortunately, because of the sensitive nature of this crisis, many cases go unreported and unresolved,” said McKee. “As Chair of our state’s Long-Term Care Coordinating Council, I challenge all Rhode Islanders to join my office and the Credit Unions

of Rhode Island in spreading the word on how to identify elder financial abuse and how to stop it.”

Credit Unions Rally to Protect to Stop Financial Scams  

Adds Paul Gentile, President and CEO of Cooperative Credit Union Association’s (CCUA), “The Credit Unions of Rhode Island are grateful to Lt. Governor Dan McKee for his support in calling attention to elder financial abuse.” “By sounding the alarm on this growing senior issue and by making CU Senior Safeguard available to all  Rhode Islanders, credit unions hope to lead the way in our efforts to protect seniors and their life savings from loss, abuse and scams, says Gentile.

Through CU Senior Safeguard, credit unions across the Ocean State are certifying their team members with knowledge and details about elder financial abuse, how to spot it and what to do when identified.  The program also offers a free online training to provide consumers with the critical knowledge and skills needed to protect themselves and their loved ones from financial abuse. The consumer training focuses on four major areas:

  1. Expectations of a Financial Caregiver: Understand the role and expectations of a financial caregiver.
  2. Preventing Elder Fraud: Learn about scams and financial abuse targeting older individuals and how to stop them.
  3. Planning for a Caregiver: Learn what a caregiver does and how to select one that meets your specific needs.
  4. Becoming a Caregiver:Review legal caregiver roles and understand how to plan ahead.

CU Senior Safeguard was created by the CCUA in response to last year’s national credit union survey that showed more than two-thirds of family caretakers report that their elderly relatives were once a target of a financial fraud or scam. Through CU Senior Safeguard, CCUA member credit unions hope to not only raise awareness of elder financial abuse but also provide the appropriate resources and financial education necessary to combat it.

Rhode Islanders can participate in the free CU Senior Safeguard training program by visiting BetterValuesBetterBanking.com.

 

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