Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Science of Being Susceptible To Scams

Marketplace recently ran a story about fascinating research on whether there is a correlation between age and susceptibility to scams.  Age of fraud: Are seniors more vulnerable to financial scams? opens with the story of one individual who fell victim to a "gift card" scam of almost $200,ooo. Think it can't happen to you? Here is where the science comes in.

[A researcher] and his colleagues have put a label on what they see as an all-too common condition: “age-associated financial vulnerability.”

“We are learning that there are changes in the aging brain, even in the absence of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative illnesses, that may render older adults vulnerable to financial exploitation.

The science is showing that older folks

ability to detect sketchy situations may decline. Or, we may become prone to seeing the upside of a risky deal and blow off the downside. Some people are more inclined to believe the last person they spoke to. Others may lose the ability to push back on a high-pressure predator. Researchers emphasize that this phenomenon goes way beyond changes in the brain.

“It also involves all of these other social and environmental factors like social isolation, like cultural factors and societal factors, like older adults having more wealth compared to younger generations,” said Marti DeLiema, a research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Still think it can't happen to you? The researchers are examining "age-related financial vulnerability[and]  are very interested in physical changes to the aging brain, the way eyesight and hearing can get less keen. In some cases, a new pattern of making mistakes with money may be a harbinger of cognitive bad things to come, the “first thing to go,” as it were"

Still think it can't happen to you? Read on.  The optimal age for money management is 53 years old, according to the article.  There is some advantage to age; the life experiences we acquire.  Now we all know, as the article reflects, that scams don't just target older persons.   There is no easy answer to the issue. How do you protect people from making bad decisions  or from falling for a scam?  The article references various state approaches and the federal Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act. FINRA is also asking brokers to "encourage customers to list the name of a trusted person to contact if something signals “scam.” Banks have no such rule."

The remainder of the article focuses on the responses and need for more work. Several experts offer suggestions for responses. I thought this one response was poignant: "abuse of the elderly is, at its core, lack of social support. The cure is social support. It’s possible that the best way to help vulnerable loved ones is just to be there, to be present in their lives."

Think this can't happen to you? Think again. And read this article.

May 26, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Science, State Statutes/Regulations, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 19, 2019

New Article on Compassionate Release

Professor Jalila Jeffferson-Bullock has published a new article, Quelling the Silver Tsunami: Compassionate Release of Elderly Offenders. The article appears in 79 Ohio State Law Journal 937-990 (2018)  and is available on SSRN here.

The abstract to the article tells us

Sentencing reform appears resurrected. Following a brief hiatus and an expectedly unwelcoming recent federal response, sentencing reform is again reemerging as a major initiative. Congress and the several states are poised to immediately accomplish major reform of the United States criminal sentencing structure. Proposals that would, among other initiatives, drastically reduce criminal sentences, restore rehabilitative programs to inmates, generate sentencing parity, normalize probation for low-level offenses, and shrink the overall prison footprint are ambling through various legislative processes throughout the country. Though groundbreaking and certainly welcome, these reforms largely ignore the special needs of the imprisoned elderly. One of the most foreseeable, yet ironically ignored, consequences of 1980's and 1990's harsh sentencing laws, is the dramatic upsurge in prison population through the predictable process of human aging. Coined the prison “silver tsunami” phenomenon, surging numbers of elderly inmates raises significant moral, health, and fiscal implications deserving keen scrutiny. It is imperative, then, that any overhaul of criminal sentencing focuses on how to meaningfully address the graying of America's prisons.

I usually stop the blog post with the abstract, but I want you to read the opening of the article, too.

I am 70 years old, and I have eight more years to spend in this prison--if I make it. None of my other siblings lived to see their 71st birthday. Lots of the young guys in here still feel like they have something to prove. They pick fights with each other, talk stuff to the guards, smuggle drug, phones, movies, and liquor in. Me, I'm over that. I read the Bible, exercise,and try to be a good example to the other guys. That's how I spend my days. I guess that's all I would do if I were out too. Except, I wouldn't have to do it alone. I think a lot about my wife, been married forty years. My kids are grown and moved all over the country. And my grandbabies, I never can see them. Not being with them, knowing that I may die in here, all alone--that's punishment on top of punishment. (citations omitted)

Read this article-a timely and important topic!

April 19, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 8, 2019

Data on Non-Fatal Cases of Violence vs. Older Adults

A few days ago the CDC issued a new report, Nonfatal Assaults and Homicides Among Adults Aged ≥60 Years — United States, 2002–2016.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the CDC notes that the violence vs. older adults hasn't gotten the same attention and research as other cohorts. So, "[u]sing data ... [the] CDC analyzed rates of nonfatal assaults and homicides against older adults during 2002–2016. Across the 15-year period, the nonfatal assault rate increased 75.4% (from 77.7 to 136.3 per 100,000) among men, and from 2007 to 2016, increased 35.4% (from 43.8 to 59.3) among women. From 2010 to 2016, the homicide rate increased among men by 7.1%, and a 19.3% increase was observed from 2013 to 2016 among men aged 60–69 years." (citations omitted)

Look at that data again.  "Nonfatal assaults [against older men] increased 75.4% (from 77.7 to 136.3 per 100,000) " with a 35.4% increase among women. "Growth in both the older adult population and the rates of violence against this group, especially among men, suggests an important need for violence prevention strategies " In my opinion, that is an understatement regarding the need for more research and prevention strategies.

The CDC discusses the limitations of their research and also offer that "[c]ollectively, these findings highlight the need to strengthen violence prevention among older adults. Unfortunately, few strategies have been rigorously evaluated." (citations omitted)  In particular one idea caught my eye:  "[i]ncorporating geriatric specialists in EDs might help link clinical care to service referrals."

This report is an important step, but we need more. The CDC report concludes "[v]iolence against older adults is an emerging and underreported public health problem. EDs might be promising settings to identify older adults at risk for violence and treat and support those already affected." (citations omitted).

 

April 8, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 18, 2019

Florida AG Creates Senior Protection Team

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced last week the creation of the Senior Protection Team "an intra-agency group of experts working together to fight fraud and abuse. The team is comprised of leading members from the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, Consumer Protection Division and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Seniors v. Crime and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will also actively assist the team with investigations and outreach efforts." The team is being led by Statewide Prosecutor, Nick Cox, a long-time advocate for the protection of elders from scams and frauds.

Kudos to General Moody!

March 18, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Florida AG Creates Senior Protection Team

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced last week the creation of the Senior Protection Team "an intra-agency group of experts working together to fight fraud and abuse. The team is comprised of leading members from the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, Consumer Protection Division and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Seniors v. Crime and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will also actively assist the team with investigations and outreach efforts." The team is being led by Statewide Prosecutor, Nick Cox, a long-time advocate for the protection of elders from scams and frauds.

Kudos to General Moody!

March 18, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Check out the Updated Law Enforcement Guide EAGLE 2.0

EAGLE, the Elder Abuse Guide for Law Enforcement, has been updated and the newest version is now available.  The email announcing the updates explains

EAGLE 2.0 has incorporated roll call videos developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Department of Justice updates and archived webinars.   EAGLE is both a systematic and streamlined tool for law enforcement to assess elder abuse, as defined by the statutes of each state.  Although EAGLE was designed for law enforcement and by law enforcement, EAGLE is for anyone who would like to learn more about the types of elder abuse and what can be done to build strong community supports to prevent future occurrences. 

The roll call videos are in six parts and based on real cases, "highlight[ing] the actions of responding officer that led to a resolution of the case."

This guide is an incredibly valuable resource. Be sure to check out the webpage!

 

March 14, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

New Report from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new report at the end of February, Suspicious Activity Reports on Elder Financial Exploitation: Issues and Trends.

Here is a summary of the report

Since 2013, financial institutions have reported to the federal government over 180,000 suspicious activities targeting older adults, involving a total of more than $6 billion. The reports provide unique data on these suspicious activities, which can enhance ongoing efforts to prevent elder financial exploitation and to punish wrongdoers.

This report presents the findings of a study of elder financial exploitation Suspicious Activity Reports (EFE SARs) filed with the federal government by financial institutions such as banks and money services businesses between 2013 and 2017. This is the first public analysis of EFE SAR filings since the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which receives and maintains the database of SARs, introduced electronic SAR filing with a designated category for “elder financial exploitation” in 2013. The findings provide an opportunity to better understand the complex problem of elder financial exploitation and to identify ways to improve prevention and response.

The full report is available here.

The key findings of the report provide some sobering data:

SAR filings on elder financial exploitation quadrupled from 2013 to 2017. In 2017, elder financial exploitation (EFE) SARs totaled 63,500. Based on recent prevalence studies, these 2017 SARs likely represent a tiny fraction of actual incidents of elder financial exploitation.

Money services businesses have filed an increasing share of EFE SARs.In 2016, money services business (MSB) filings surpassed depository institution (DI) filings. In 2017, MSB SARs comprised 58 percent of EFE SARs, compared to 15 percent in 2013.

Financial institutions reported a total of $1.7 billion in suspicious activities in 2017, including actual losses and attempts to steal the older adults’ funds

Nearly 80 percent of EFE SARs involved a monetary loss to older adults and/or filers (i.e. financial institutions).

In EFE SARs involving a loss to an older adult, the average amount lost was $34,200. In 7 percent of these EFE SARs, the loss exceeded $100,000.

When a filer lost money, the average loss per filer was $16,700.

One third of the individuals who lost money were ages 80 and older.

Adults ages 70 to 79 had the highest average monetary loss ($45,300).

Losses were greater when the older adult knew the suspect. The average loss per person was about $50,000 when the older adult knew the suspect and $17,000 when the suspect was a stranger.

Types of suspicious activity varied significantly by filer.When the filer was an MSB, 69 percent of EFE SARs described scams by strangers. DI filings, in contrast, involved an array of financial crimes, with 27 percent involving stranger scams.

More than half of EFE SARs involved a money transfer. The second-most common financial product used to move funds was a checking or savings account (44 percent).

Checking or savings accounts had the highest monetary losses. The average monetary loss to the older adult was $48,300 for EFE SARs involving a checking or savings account while the average loss was $32,800 for EFE SARs involving a money transfer.

The suspicious activity reported in an EFE SAR took place, on average, over a four-month period.

Fewer than one-third of EFE SARs indicated that the filer reported the suspicious activity to a local, state, or federal authority. Only one percent of MSB SARs stated that the MSB reported the suspicious activity in the SAR to a government entity such as adult protective services or law enforcement.

Read the entire report. The information is important.

Thanks to Julie Childs from the DOJ Elder Justice Initiative for alerting me to this new report.

March 13, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

When Do Lawyers Have to Report Suspected Elder Abuse-A Webinar

Mark your calendars for this important webinar.  The National Center for Law and Elder Rights is offering this webinar, Elder Abuse: Mandatory and Permissive Reporting For Lawyers, on April 3, 2019 from 2-3 edt.

Here is the info about the webinar

When working with older adults, lawyers may be faced with legal and ethical decisions about when and how to report suspected elder abuse. In making these decisions, lawyers must balance the ethical need to honor their client’s autonomy, with potential legal requirements to intervene. An understanding of mandatory and permissive reporting laws is essential for lawyers working in this field.

This webcast will introduce lawyers to the concept of mandatory and permissive reporting, and provide an overview of the analysis a lawyer should take when determining how to proceed in circumstances of suspected abuse. Participants will learn how to:

• Analyze reporting obligations

• Determine who is a mandatory reporter in their state

• Inform clients about mandatory reporting requirements

• Weigh the benefits and burdens of reporting

The webcast will build on previous NCLER trainings, including Legal Basics: Elder Abuse and Legal Basics: Signs of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation.

 

To register, click here.

March 12, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Legal Practice/Practice Management, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Justice Department Announces Elder Fraud Sweep

On March 7, 2019, U.S. DOJ announced the biggest U.S. elder fraud sweep. Justice Department Coordinates Largest-Ever Nationwide Elder Fraud Sweep. Attorney General Focuses on Threats Posed by Technical-Support Fraud offers a look at the staggering amount of elder fraud.

The cases during this sweep involved more than 260 defendants from around the globe who victimized more than two million Americans, most of them elderly. [DOJ] took action in every federal district across the country, through the filing of criminal or civil cases or through consumer education efforts. In each case, offenders allegedly engaged in financial schemes that targeted or largely affected seniors. In total, the charged elder fraud schemes caused alleged losses of millions of more dollars than last year, putting the total alleged losses at this year’s sweep at over three fourths of one billion dollars.

Want to see the results of the sweep in your state?  Click here.

The sweep included tech support fraud, mass mailing fraud and  money mules.  Consumer education was also part of the effort,

[DOJ] and its law enforcement partners focused the sweep’s public education campaign on technical-support fraud, given the widespread harm such schemes are causing. The FTC and State Attorneys General had an important role in designing and disseminating messaging material intended to warn consumers and businesses.

Public education outreach is being conducted by various state and federal agencies, including Senior Corps, a national service program administered by the federal agency the Corporation for National and Community Service, to educate seniors and prevent further victimization. The Senior Corps program engages more than 245,000 older adults in intensive service each year, who in turn, serve more than 840,000 additional seniors, including 332,000 veterans. Information on Senior Corps’ efforts to reduce elder fraud can be found here.

Click here to read the full press release. The AG's remarks are available here.

Thanks to my colleague, Professor Podgor, for alerting me to the press releases.

March 11, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Federal Cases, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Other | Permalink

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Nursing Home Employees Indicted

McKnight's Long Term Care News reported that Nursing home employees indicted for involuntary manslaughter after patient’s death from bedsores. "The Ohio attorney general has indicted seven former Columbus nursing facility workers on dozens of charges following a patient’s 2017 death from bedsores ... against six employees and a contracted nurse practitioner at the Whetstone Gardens and Care Center. All told, the seven individuals have been hit with 34 charges, including involuntary manslaughter, with some stemming from alleged neglectful care of a second patient." One of the patients died of septic shock and the second received insufficient care.  The SNF takes a different view of the incidents.

Stay tuned....

 

February 27, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Health Care/Long Term Care, State Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Tool for Documenting Injuries from Elder Abuse

MedicalXPress ran a story about a New tool for documenting injuries may provide better evidence for elder abuse cases. which opens noting that "[a]n estimated 10 percent of older adults experience some form of abuse each year. However, the link between injuries and possible elder abuse may take months or years to establish and is often difficult to investigate due to poor documentation during prior medical visits."  To improve the process, Dr. Laura Mosqueda and her team have created "the Geriatric Injury Documentation Tool (Geri-IDT)."  The tool was a result of a study done by her team, the results of which were recently published in the Journal for General Internal Medicine, Developing the Geriatric Injury Documentation Tool (Geri-IDT) to Improve Documentation of Physical Findings in Injured Older Adults.

An excerpt of the abstract offers this insight

Key Results

Experts agreed that medical providers’ documentation of geriatric injuries is usually inadequate for investigating alleged elder abuse/neglect. They highlighted elements needed for forensic investigation: initial appearance before treatment is initiated, complete head-to-toe evaluation, documentation of all injuries (even minor ones), and documentation of pertinent negatives. Several noted the value of photographs to supplement written documentation. End users identified practical challenges to utilizing a tool, including the burden of additional or parallel documentation in a busy clinical setting, and how to integrate it into existing electronic medical records.

Conclusion

A practical tool to improve medical documentation of geriatric injuries for potential forensic use would be valuable. Practical challenges to utilization must be overcome.

 

February 18, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Japanese Elders-Seek Jail When Financially Insecure or Lonely?

The BBC ran a story recently about elders in Japan committing crimes, to spend time in jail.  The elders may be lonely, or may have outlived their savings and can't afford to live independently anymore. Why some Japanese pensioners want to go to jail

Consider this

[One individual noted in the story] represents a striking trend in Japanese crime. In a remarkably law-abiding society, a rapidly growing proportion of crimes is carried about by over-65s. In 1997 this age group accounted for about one in 20 convictions but 20 years later the figure had grown to more than one in five - a rate that far outstrips the growth of the over-65s as a proportion of the population (though they now make up more than a quarter of the total).

Further, recidivism is an issue with this age group: "2,500 over-65s convicted in 2016, more than a third had more than five previous convictions."  The article notes that shoplifting is the most common crime. One researcher "[i]n a paper published in 2016 he calculates that the costs of rent, food and healthcare alone will leave recipients in debt if they have no other income - and that's before they've paid for heating or clothes. In the past it was traditional for children to look after their parents, but in the provinces a lack of economic opportunities has led many younger people to move away, leaving their parents to fend for themselves." The article explains low pensions are part of the issue as well as increasing isolation and loneliness. 

Thanks to two of our alums for alerting me to this article.

February 3, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Identity Theft Webinar

Regardless of whether you are one of the lucky ones who have not been a victim of ID theft, or are part of the unlucky group who have been victims of ID theft, you will want to attend this webinar. The Center for Victim Research is offering a webinar on January 17, 2019  at 2 p.m.  on Identity Theft and Fraud: What Do We Know from Research and Practice? The webinar will cover

the current evidence on the challenges faced by victims of identity theft and fraud.

The experiences of victims of identity theft and fraud are under-researched, while the responses to their needs remain underdeveloped and have typically not yet been evaluated. CVR researchers Dr. Yasemin Irvin-Erickson and Ms. Alexandra Ricks will present key findings from the first comprehensive review of national research and practice evidence on this topic.

Topics covered will include:

  • The prevalence of identity theft and fraud
  • Harms and consequences experienced by victims
  • Services available and where the field needs to grow

To register for the webinar, click here.

January 16, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Programs/CLEs, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 4, 2019

A Curious Motivation for "Oldest Ever" Fraud

Recent news reports are focusing on the history of Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the purported age of 122 years and 164 days, a record that is still unsurpassed.

Some are convinced that she was not that old, and the possible motivation for the fraud is interesting.  Did a daughter assume the identity of her mother, rather earlier in the history, to avoid paying inheritance taxes?  One researcher notes the lack of any evidence of dementia as a clue.  

For more, see  "Researchers Claim  World Record for Longest Life a Case of ID Fraud" from CBS News. 

January 4, 2019 in Crimes, Current Affairs, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Estates and Trusts, Ethical Issues, International, Statistics | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Conservator Financial Exploitation Background Briefs from Center for Elders & Courts

The Center for Elders & Courts has released 8 background briefs on financial exploitation by conservators. The introduction explains that "the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime funded the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), in partnership with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging (ABA Commission), the Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology (VTCfG) and the Minnesota Judicial Branch, to assess the scope of such exploitation and explore its impact on victims."  "The ... project collected information on conservator exploitation, as well as the laws and practices in place to prevent, detect and act on such exploitation."

The purpose of the briefs is to increase public knowledge about the issues, aimed at an audience that includes attorneys, policymakers, judges, court staff, and advocated. 

The 8 topics cover: 

Examples of Conservator Exploitation: An Overview

Conservator Exploitation in Minnesota

Detecting Exploitation by Conservators: Court Monitoring

Detecting Exploitation by Conservators: Systemic Approach

Court Actions Upon Detection of Exploitation

Innovative Programs That Address Financial Exploitation by Conservators

Data Quality Undermines Accountability in Conservatorship Cases

Supporting Victims of Conservator Exploitation

In addition there is a list of resources available here, Key Resources on Conservator Exploitation

 

January 2, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Twist on Grandparent Scam-Asking for Cash

The grandparent scam has been around for a while. According to the FTC, the bad guys have morphed the scam to make it harder  to catch.  New twist on popular 'grandparent scam': mail cash explains that "people 70 and older report mailing huge amounts of cash to people who pretended to be their grandchildren... [and] ...  – fully 25% of people 70 and over who reported to the FTC how they paid money told [the FTC] they sent cash." (citations omitted). The FTC noted that these grandparent scams are also called friends & family impostor scams.

How do the bad guys convince victims to send cash?  The blog post explains that "callers often give very specific instructions about how to send cash. Many people said they were told to divide the bills into envelopes and place them between the pages of a magazine. Then, according to reports, they were told to send them using various carriers, including UPS, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service."  The post does give some advice:

  • Don’t act right away, no matter how dramatic the story is.
  • Call that family member or friend, and make sure you use a phone number that you know is right. Or check it out with someone else in your circle, even if the caller told you to keep it a secret.
  • Be careful about what you post on social media. If your personal details are public, someone can use them to defraud you and people who care about you.

If you’ve mailed cash, report it right away to the Postal Service or whichever shipping company you used. Some people have been able to stop delivery by acting quickly and giving a tracking number. Also tell the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

BTW, the FTC website notes that the agency is closed because of the government shut down. Hopefully the bad guys aren't reading this post or checking out the FTC website.

January 1, 2019 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Rapid Response Conservatorship Project

The Rapid Response Conservatorship Project from the Center for Elders & the Courts is using technology to create "[a] modernized proactive court process that safeguards the as sets of those placed under a conservatorship." The website offers some information about the project: "NCSC will pilot the two-year project in two courts to develop and refine implementation strategies that can be adopted nationwide. The project will result in highly efficient court processes and has the potential to end the exploitation of conservatorship assets." The website describes 3 phases: planning, implementing and replicating. The project looks at 5 steps: appointing a conservator, using technology and machine learning  to establish a "financial profile" which in turn notifies courts of unusual activities which will then allow courts to take action with the result of "[i]ntegrating monitoring, alerts, and timely resolution into the court management process [which] will improve the administration of justice—and protect the assets of the vulnerable."

Cate Boyko is the project director

 

December 30, 2018 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, State Statutes/Regulations | Permalink

Friday, December 28, 2018

Is SSA Calling? Nah, It's a Scam

There have been many reports regarding the Social Security scam and according to the FTC the scam is growing like kudzu (i.e. rapidly). According to the FTC, the "scam is now growing exponentially. To compare: in 2017, we heard from 3,200 people about SSA imposter scams, and those people reported losing nearly $210,000. So far THIS year: more than 35,000 people have reported the scam, and they tell us they’ve lost $10 million."

 This week the FTC released a recording of the scam,  This is what a Social Security scam sounds like  so you will know how to better spot it. The recording is 39 seconds-well worth your time for a quick listen. The FTC offers this advice

Here's what to know:

  • Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.
  • SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time.
  • The real SSA number is 1-800-772-1213, but scammers are putting that number in the caller ID. If you’re worried about what the caller says, hang up and call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to the real SSA. Even if the wait time is long, confirm with the real SSA before responding to one of these calls.
  • Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Or your bank account or credit card number.

December 28, 2018 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Social Security | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Webinar-Recognizing Elder Abuse

Mark your calendars now for a free webinar from the National Center on Law & Elder Rights on Signs of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation. The webcast is scheduled for 2 p.m. on January 16, 2019.  Here is a description of the webinar

Lawyers and others who work with older adults should be aware of potential signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This awareness requires an understanding of abuse signs, as well as the questions to ask when abuse is suspected. As the first part in the forthcoming National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) Elder Justice Toolkit, this webinar will help lawyers tune in to potential warning signals and train the audience on key questions to ask when elder abuse is suspected. The fast paced one-hour program will include checklists of physical, behavioral, and emotional signs of abuse, sexual abuse, self-neglect, caregiver neglect, and exploitation. 

To register, click here.

December 18, 2018 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Health Care/Long Term Care, Programs/CLEs, State Cases, State Statutes/Regulations, Webinars | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 10, 2018

Rural & Tribal Justice Webinar Series from DOJ

Mark your calendars for a free webinar on December 13, 2018 from noon-1 from DOJ's Elder Justice Initiative on Resources for Financial Institutions to Prevent & Protect Against Elder Financial Exploitation.

Here is a synopsis from the website:

Bankers, brokers, and investment advisors are often some of the first trusted parties to see signs of financial exploitation. This presentation will support the work already done by financial services members and provide additional information about how to access training programs and support for tellers and other financial professionals who want to report financial exploitation and work collaboratively with others in their communities to prevent it.

Please join us for a webinar on December 13, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. e.t., on Resources for Financial Institutions To Prevent and Protect Against Elder Financial Exploitation with host Judith Kozlowski, J.D., consultant and subject matter expert with DOJ's Elder Justice Initiative, and presenter Lisa Bleier, J.D., Managing Director and Associate General Counsel at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), and leads its Senior Investor Protection efforts. Her primary responsibilities at SIFMA include working with Members of Congress and government regulators on retirement, IRA, and executive compensation matters. Before moving to SIFMA, Ms. Bleier was Vice President and Senior Counsel at the American Bankers Association and worked on Capitol Hill. Also presenting is Billie McNeeley, Financial Exploitation Specialist, Aging & People with Disabilities at the Oregon Department of Human Services, she is a leader in developing and training bank tellers to recognize financial exploitation and move to action. Formerly with the Oregon Bankers Association, she is a national advocate for the role that small banks and credit unions can play in addressing elder financial exploitation.

They will discuss how financial professionals in small and medium-sized firms can use available tools and training to recognize and fight elder financial exploitation. The discussion includes what tellers, back-office professionals, and those in the c-suite can do to address this important issue.

To register for the webinar, click here.

December 10, 2018 in Consumer Information, Crimes, Current Affairs, Elder Abuse/Guardianship/Conservatorship, Federal Statutes/Regulations, Programs/CLEs, State Statutes/Regulations, Webinars | Permalink