August 21, 2023
Elizabeth, New Jersey (August 21, 2023)–Union County Savings Bank and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) are providing tips for preventing elder financial abuse in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15.
Older Americans lose roughly $3 billion to a growing number of scams each year, according to the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging. But only one in 44 cases get reported, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association, putting the true cost as high as $35.5 billion annually.
“As a trusted lender and financial steward of our community, Union County Savings Bank is vested in ensuring our most vulnerable citizens do not fall prey to financial abuse,” said Joseph Yewaisis, President & CEO of Union County Savings Bank. “Because of the insidious nature of these threats, we want to equip our residents with warning signs to help them detect, prevent and report suspicious activity to protect themselves or their loved ones.”
Union County Savings Bank and ICBA offer the following suggestions to help curb elder financial abuse:
- Secure private information (such as Social Security card, passport, bank account numbers, financial statements, medical records, and other legal documents), in a bank safety deposit box.
- Check your bank accounts and bill statements carefully. If you notice unauthorized charges or unusual activity, alert your bank immediately.
- Do not disclose personal information, such as bank account numbers or PINs, to anyone claiming to be from an established organization, especially if they ask you to wire funds.
- Ask Union County Savings Bank about available resources to help protect you or your loved ones from scams and exploitation.
- Plan ahead by giving a trusted person the legal authority to make financial decisions for you if you are unable. Make sure your bank has a record of who can manage your money on your behalf.
- Contact your local adult protective services agency and law enforcement if you have information about a fraud or suspect you may have encountered financial abuse.
“Community bankers are often the first line of defense and can be a key resource in alerting others how to avoid becoming a victim,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Call on these trusted financial stewards to help identify prevalent scams and halt criminal activity before they try to siphon away your hard-earned financial future for you and your future generations.”
To learn more about elder financial abuse and prevention strategies, visit icba.org/eldercare.
About Union County Savings Bank
Union County Savings Bank was founded in October 1883 and is headquartered in Elizabeth, New Jersey. UCSB is an FDIC-insured bank, with $1.8 billion in total assets, and currently operates four branches in Union County, New Jersey. For more information, call (908) 354-4600 or visit www.unioncountysavings.com.