Spotting financial elder exploitation

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In March 2016, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggested ways that financial institutions can help to protect older Americans from financial exploitation.

Financial institutions should train staff to recognize abuse, use fraud-detection technologies, provide age-friendly services and report suspicious activities to authorities, CFPB says. Experts agree that these recommendations are a step in the right direction, but more is needed to fight financial elder exploitation.

David Reiss, who is a professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, says he would like to see more enforcement.

“As the CFPB acknowledges, even if financial institutions make referrals to regulators and prosecutors, there still may not be any follow-up,” he tells us. “That seems like a gap that should be filled as soon as possible.”

Experts say financial institutions will begin to implement the recommendations with the expectation that they will become rules eventually.