The New York State Department of Financial Services and New York State Office of Children and Family Services have partnered to offer financial institutions and professionals training sessions on preventing “the illegal or improper use of an elderly adult’s funds, property, or resources by another individual,” state officials said.
The workshops will take place in the Finger Lakes, New York City, and Capital regions, at the following locations:
- Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Public Safety Training Facility, 2914 County Rd. 48, Canandaigua.
- Thursday, Oct. 29 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – NYS Department of Financial Services, One State St., New York, NY.
- Thursday, Nov. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Siena College, Lonnstrum Dining Hall, 515 Loudon Rd., Loudonville.
“These professionals are in a critically important position to spot red flags, and stop elder financial exploitation,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated. “This training will help employees at banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions identify potential warning signs and promptly report suspected abuse.”
At each session, representatives from the state will be available to meet with bank and credit union managers, compliance officers, anti-money laundering/Bank Secrecy Act officers, and general counsels to discuss how institutions and professionals can work effectively to prevent financial abuse.
The topics covered at the training will include:
- Recognizing red flags of elder financial exploitation among customers;
- How Adult Protective Services and other community resources can help prevent elder abuse;
- The importance of reporting suspected elder abuse to Adult Protective Services, law enforcement, and the Department of Financial Services;
- And, protections under federal and state law which allow financial professionals to report suspected abuse to authorities.
The trainings are the latest piece in an ongoing effort by the state to protect elderly New Yorkers from financial exploitation. Earlier this year, the Department of Financial Services issued regulatory guidance to financial institutions for identifying and stopping elder financial abuse, and sent surveys to a number of banks and credit unions in order to gather information on the policies those institutions have in place to protect elder consumers from financial exploitation, officials said.
“Unfortunately, older New Yorkers are all-too-often a target for financial fraud and abuse,” Anthony Albanese, acting superintendent of financial services, stated. “We are continuing to take a variety of actions on multiple fronts, working closely with financial institutions in New York to identify and investigate elder financial exploitation.”
According to the state, a 2010 survey by the Investor Protection Trust estimated that one in five Americans over age 65 has been victimized by financial fraud, a phenomenon which costs seniors living in the United States at least $2.9 billion each year.
Individuals should call the statewide hotline at 1-800-342-3009, and press option 6, to report instances of suspected elder financial exploitation.
And, in order to RSVP for the trainings, interested parties should call 212-480-2306 or email Elder.Protection@dfs.ny.gov with names and titles of the individuals, and which training they will attend.