By Shereen Siewert
A new training video that aims to educate tellers and other banking professionals on how to spot financial elder abuse and report it is now available in Wisconsin.
According to Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, elder financial abuse increased 17.5 percent from 2016 to 2017 and represents a growing problem in the state and around the country.
The Department of Justice produced the ten-minute training video with assistance from the Wisconsin Bankers Association, Wisconsin Credit Union League, and members of the Attorney General’s Task Force on Elder Abuse. The video details common red-flags that tellers in financial institutions should watch for when interacting with older adults who are often susceptible to financial exploitation.
A report from 2015 estimates that elders lose nearly $35 billion annually to elder financial abuse. The report also shows that the impact of financial exploitation extends beyond just economic damage, with 954,000 seniors skipping meals due to the abuse.
“The impact of financial elder abuse on Wisconsin seniors is real and growing,” said Brett Thompson, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League. “Credit unions across the state look forward to utilizing this new educational tool to better serve and protect their senior members.”
The Wisconsin Bankers Association and Wisconsin Credit Union League will be distributing the training video to members and encouraging them to use this new tool for their employees. The video will be made available for download for any financial institution or can be viewed on the Respect Your Elders Report Abuse website at www.reportelderabusewi.org.
To report suspected financial, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, please contact your county elder adult-at-risk agency or call 1-800-488-3780. If you witness an act of abuse, neglect, or exploitation that requires immediate attention, please call 911.
To learn more about elder abuse, go to www.ReportElderAbuseWI.org.