FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 15, 2016 Media Contact: Caley Love, Director of Communications Phone: firstname.lastname@example.org
Agencies Recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by Asking Citizens to Watch for Signs of Elder Financial Fraud
TOPEKA, Kan., (Jun. 15, 2016) — In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day today, the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner (KSC) spotlights the importance of safeguarding Kansas’s senior population by keeping a watchful eye for signs of elder financial exploitation and promptly reporting possible abuse to appropriate officials.
Elder financial abuse is rising with the rapid aging of the North American population, due in part to the amount of wealth seniors have accumulated throughout their careers and their increasing isolation.
“Many in our older population are vulnerable due to social isolation and distance from family, caregivers, and other support networks,” Securities Commissioner Josh Ney said. “The days of aging in communities surrounded by generations of family members are fading into the past. We need as many eyes and ears as possible listening and watching for signs of suspect elder financial exploitation.”
The Kansas Area Agencies on Aging provide resources to older Kansans in all 105 counties across the state and have partnered with the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner to help prevent the financial exploitation of older Kansans. “Scammers and fraudsters target older Kansans, and their ploys often rob seniors of millions of dollars of their hard-earned money,” said Julie Govert Walter, Executive Director of the North Central-Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging. “Many seniors who have health issues also experience a diminished capacity to manage their personal finances. Worse yet, sometimes the people seniors turn to for help with their money prove to be less than worthy.”
To help fight this problem, the KSC suggests watching for the following warning signs of suspicious behavior that may indicate potential elder financial exploitation:
• Has an elder moved away from existing relationships and toward new associations with other “friends” or strangers?• Has a new person entered the elder’s life and shown an excessive interest in the elder’s finances or accounts?• Are you unable to speak directly with the elder despite repeated attempts at contact?• Does the elder display unexplained excitement over a financial windfall or prize check and reluctance to discuss details?
If these sound familiar, Commissioner Ney recommends contacting the KSC at 785-296-3307 or email@example.com. The KSC has developed presentations titled Outsmarting Investment Fraud to provide across the state to older Kansans and have been presenting to senior center groups this month. Seniors attending the presentations will leave equipped with the skills to recognize the persuasion tactics of scam artists and the red flags of fraud, as well as the knowledge of what to do to prevent scams. If you are interested in the KSC presenting to your local group, contact Shannon Stone, Director of Investor Education at the KSC, at 913-652-9164.
The mission of the KSC is to protect and inform Kansas investors; to promote integrity, fairness, and full disclosure in financial services; and to foster capital formation.
The Kansas Area Agencies on Aging Association works to improve services and supports for all older Kansans and their caregivers, and advocates helping older Kansans remain active, independent, and free from abuse and neglect.