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Franklin Savings, AARP offer tips for elders to avoid financial abuse


Only 1-in-4 cases of financial abuse involving the elderly are reported annually.

FRANKLIN, NH – Tips to prevent elder financial abuse, which costs billions of dollars a year, are being offered by Franklin Savings Bank and the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation in anticipation of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15.

Financial abuse of older Americans is a growing trend, bank officials said in a news release this week. Seniors lose a reported $3 billion every year to scams, but with an estimated only one in 44 cases getting reported, that number is likely closer to $35.5 billion, according to the Financial Adult Protective Services Association. 

Scammers often play on the emotions of elderly people to create a situation that lures them into becoming a victim of fraud, AARP said in a separate news release.

“As a trusted community bank, Franklin Savings Bank takes a number of steps to identify, prevent and report suspicious activity for the protection of our customers,” Ron Magoon, Franklin Savings Bank CEO, said. “But we want to ensure our communities are also equipped to recognize the warning signs and take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from scammers.”

Headquartered in Franklin, the bank also has branches in Bristol, Boscawen, Gilford, Goffstown, Merrimack and Tilton.

SHCPF is a banking industry-funded crime prevention program that educates and safeguards against theft, abuse and neglect. Franklin Savings Bank and SHCPF offer the following tips to help curb elder financial abuse:

  • Secure private information (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 in a phone call, letter, email, fax or text message claiming to be from an established organization, especially if they ask you to wire funds or send private information.
  • Ask your 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.

SHCPF President and CEO David Lenoir said that seniors, or their caretakers and loved ones, who want to know more about scams targeting seniors and how to protect older adults should contact their community bank.

“Community bankers are often relied upon as the front line of defense in the protection of their customers and as providers of prevention education and information for elderly customers and their adult children,” he said.

AARP has further tips on how older Americans can avoid being scammed this summer.

“Knowing the red flags once helped us spot scams. But these days, many scams are virtually unrecognizable as scams, such as fake travel sites and messages from people pretending to be relatives trapped in foreign jails,” Kathy Stokes, AARP director of fraud prevention said in a news release. “We face sophisticated criminal enterprises, so it’s more important than ever to shore up our defenses.”

She said that the biggest red flag is when an unexpected communication – a call, email or text – causes a highly emotional reaction. 

“That’s the calling card of today’s scammers. Disengage and talk to someone you trust about what’s at issue,” Stokes said.

AARP suggests:

  • Password-protect laptops, tablets and smartphones. Use biometrics, such as facial recognition or fingerprints, where possible.
  • Set your electronic devices to automatically install updates for operating and protective software.
  • Do not click links from emails or texts; type the web address you know to be legit into your browser.
  • Install a virtual private network (VPN) if you use public Wi-Fi.
  • Answer calls only from people you know; if unsure, let them go to voicemail.


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