Seniors warned about a scam to get cash
Aging offers clues that someone may be victim of financial
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[January 16, 2013]
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois
Department on Aging Director John K. Holton, Ph.D., is warning
seniors about an attempt to scam seniors and steal their money. The
department is acting to alert Illinois seniors, based on a report by
Springfield police that two elderly females fell victim to the scam.
In two recent cases, a man reportedly called and told the victims he
works at their bank. He got the victims to share information from
their bank statements and told them he believed a bank employee was
stealing from their account. He asked for their help to catch the
person. The man convinced the victims to make cash withdrawals from
their accounts, then meet with him to give him the cash. The man got
away with almost $7,000.
"Financial exploitation is the most common reported type of elder
abuse. It's disgusting that there are people who target older adults
in order to steal their money," said Holton. "A good rule of thumb
is to never give anyone who calls on the phone, or sends email,
personal information, including bank information."
In fiscal 2011 the state received 6,205 reports of suspected
elder financial abuse and exploitation, which accounts for 57
percent of all reported cases of abuse against elders. Only 2.2
percent of those cases were reported by banks and other financial
As a defense against predators who prey on financially vulnerable
seniors, the Department on Aging administers the Bankers and Seniors
Against Financial Exploitation training program, known as B* SAFE.
The training is now required for staff at Illinois banks and credit
unions, teaching them to identify and report suspicious
circumstances. Since the training became a state regulatory
requirement in 2011, several scams have been uncovered and
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Warning signs that a senior may be a victim of financial
exploitation include sudden changes in bank accounts or banking
practices; the inclusion of additional names on a senior's bank
signature card; unauthorized withdrawals of the victim's funds,
using the victim's ATM or credit card; large sums of money loaned
with no repayment arrangement; abrupt changes in a will or other
financial documents; excessive charges for residence or services;
complaints of deception or theft of funds or property.
To learn more about preventing elder abuse and neglect, including
financial exploitation, visit the Illinois Department on Aging
http://www.state.il.us/aging/. Anyone who suspects that an older
adult is being mistreated should call the Illinois Department on
Aging 24-hour Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-866-800-1409.
Department on Aging file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]