DOB: Connecticut Department of Banking Provides Training of Elder Financial Fraud and Exploitation

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NEWS RELEASE

Connecticut Department of Banking Provides
Training of Elder Financial Fraud and Exploitation

June 15, 2017

The Department of Banking, in collaboration with LPL Financial and the Connecticut Insurance Department, held an elder fraud training in Farmington with LPL Financial advisors.  The training, which took place Tuesday, recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day today, June 15. This week also marks Senior$afe Training Week, in which the Department, along with other state regulators, encourages financial services industry training around elder financial abuse and exploitation.

Senior$afe is designed to train financial professionals to identify possible financial abuse early on and encourage reporting to appropriate authorities.  The training involves recognizing and reporting the red flags of potential elder financial exploitation, such as sudden large withdrawals or uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money.

“Seniors are often targeted for financial fraud and exploitation because they may be isolated from family, caregivers, and other support networks. That’s why it is important to know the red flags that could signal an elder’s savings may be in danger,” said Commissioner Perez.  “This is yet another opportunity to reinforce our commitment to protecting seniors in our communities.”

Commissioner Perez highlighted three warning signs of possible elder financial fraud or exploitation to watch for:

  • Has the elder moved away from existing relationships and toward new associations with other “friends” or strangers who show excessive interest in his or her finances or accounts, refuse to allow the elder to speak or are reluctant to leave the senior’s side during conversations?
  • Does the elder show an unusual degree of fear, anxiety, submissiveness or deference toward the person accompanying him or her?
  • Does the elder display unexplained or unusual excitement over an investment opportunity, financial windfall or prize check?
Elder financial abuse is on the rise due to the amount of wealth seniors have accumulated throughout their careers and the increasing number of retirees throughout Connecticut.

“Financial services professionals are uniquely positioned to serve as a front line of defense to spot potential elder financial fraud and exploitation and alert authorities,” Commissioner Perez said.  “Our Senior$afe training provides vital information to help industry professionals spot common signs of financial abuse among their senior clients.”

“This is an important initiative to keep Connecticut seniors safe from scams and frauds. Working with our sister agencies, we help train the financial professionals who are licensed by the Insurance and Banking Departments to better safeguard their clients and Connecticut consumers,” Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade said.

“We are excited to be the first firm to collaborate with the Department of Banking and the Connecticut Insurance Department to sponsor the Senior$afe training for our advisers,” said John Cronin, Vice President, Government Relations, LPL Financial.  “This training will allow LPL’s professionals to quickly recognize early signs of financial abuse and help reduce instances that can be costly to our senior clients.”

Tuesday’s Senior$afe program featured experts in the fields of geriatric healthcare and elder abuse, securities and financial fraud, and insurance regulation.  The twenty-five attendees earned 2.00 hours of Insurance Continuing Education credits.

Senior$afe is one of various trainings the Department provides to help financial services employees learn how to identify and report suspected cases of senior financial exploitation.  Visit www.ct.gov/dob/seniorsafe to learn more about Senior$afe.  To request a training session for your firm, contact Kathleen Titsworth, Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Banking, at 860-240-8176.