Every year, tens of thousands of elderly people become victims of financial elder abuse. Whether it is a trusted friend, family member, or some far-away scammer our elderly loved ones are at risk of falling victim to this rapidly growing crime. While some banks already have protective systems in place, some have yet to be able to recognize and report possible financial abuse. The AJC reports that the state of Georgia is getting a $10,000 grant to help combat this form of abuse.
The AARP has awarded 12 states, one of them Georgia, a $10,000 AARP BankSafe Initiative grant. The purpose of the grant is to help states develop a free online program to help those employed at financial institutions recognize and report financial abuse when it occurs to the elderly.
The purpose of the grant is to train front line bank and financial institution employees – such as tellers and their supervisors – to recognize red flags that may mean an elderly customer is being exploited. The hope is to have online training up and running within a year. The next step will be mandatory training for all frontline employees at financial institutions in Georgia.
Statistically, it is a crime that boggles the mind. One in five senior Americans fall victim to financial exploitation. Their losses are staggering at an average of $120,000 each. Nationwide, this equates to approximately $3 billion in losses to this kind of abuse. The majority of those committing this crime are family members and caregivers. Banks stand to lose about $1 billion in deposits yearly as a direct result of financial elder abuse.
Financial exploitation is a felony and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison in the state of Georgia.
If you believe that yourself or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect, contact the law offices of Schenk Smith. Let our experienced and compassionate attorneys help you get the compensation that you deserve. Call today.