The Problem: Preventing Elder Financial Abuse, a Growing Problem
Elder financial exploitation (EFE) is a crime that affects thousands of older adults every year. It is a growing problem with an estimated $36 billion stolen annually, money that causes irreparable damage to an older person’s livelihood. As banking becomes more digital and relies less on face-to-face interaction, it can be hard to catch potential cases of EFE before it is too late. Chris Hamm, the BSA officer at First Citizens National Bank, prides himself on educating the community on the risks and red flags of EFE. He spends significant time speaking at Chamber of Commerce events, retirement homes, and national conferences to inform others on the harm of elder financial exploitation and how to spot it. Chris trained his front-line staff in what to look for and what questions to ask. Over the last five years he noticed a significant shift in their customer base’s behavior from in-branch transactions to digital activity. The problem now became how do you stop fraudulent or abusive activity you can no longer physically see in your branch?