Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse

Sometimes it’s friends. Sometimes it’s family.

People wanting access to an older person’s money.

It’s a different kind of elder abuse, said Debbie Speigel, LNB’s vice president and senior bank risk officer.

The bank will address the issue and offer helpful tips at a seminar Wednesday, August 3 at 2:30 at Raider Ranch.

The public is invited.

Raider Ranch is at 6548 43rd Street, just west of Milwaukee Avenue.

A speaker from Adult Protective Services will participate.

“We’re seeing this a lot throughout the bank,” said Speigel, adding information they get from federal agencies says more of this type of financial exploitation is also growing across the country.

“They’re urging banks to get involved in community education,” she said.

“We want people to be more aware of what to look for and educate employees on red flags and spotting it faster,” said Speigel.

“We also want the community to know we don’t tolerate this and we will report it,” she said.

Mike Orndorff, special agent in the FBI’s Lubbock office, said there are an almost endless number of different scams people use to target victims – specifically the elderly.

“The elderly are more often victims because they pick up the phone, they’re polite, more likely to believe someone is who they say they are,” said Orndorff. “These people prey on elderly being lonely.”

“There are cold calls originating out of Jamaica, people saying they’re from the Canadian lottery, Publisher’s Clearinghouse, IRS, FBI – they want to verify a Social Security number,” he said.

People will be told they’ve won a prize but just need to send $500 to cover taxes, and some people end up paying tens of thousands of dollars by the time the scam runs its course, he said.

The criminals may have part of a person’s Social Security number and just want the rest. Or they have a credit card number but ask to verify the three-number code on the back, said Orndorff.

“There are so many scams,” he said, adding people send emails saying they’re from the IRS, but the email is johnsmith@gmail.com.

The agent added there’s also romance fraud targeting women over the Internet.

Orndorff told the story of a woman who was accepting packages from a man claiming to be a major in a foreign army and the packages were stolen merchandise.

Another woman, he said, sent $70,000 to a man claiming to be in the British military.

“I told her she might be helping to fund terrorism and found out later she sent another $50,000,” he said.

Another scam sends counterfeit checks to buy a car.

“If I’m selling a car for $5,000, they may send check for $8,000 and say they’ll have someone pick up the car – asking the seller to give the driver $2,200 and saying the seller can pocket the extra $800. Days later the bank comes back and says the check is counterfeit and you’re on hook for all $8,000,” he said.

“That happens a lot,” said Orndorff.

“Just remember you don’t get something for nothing,” Orndorff said.

What are types of financial exploitation?

What are the signs and symptoms?

Tips to help seniors safeguard their money

If you are a victim of financial abuse, please talk to Adult Protective Services, police, one of our personal bankers, a trusted family member, your clergy, attorney, or doctor.

Our bank is committed to protecting our customers, and community, from financial exploitation. This crime deprives older adults of their resources, and ultimately, their independence. Here at LNB we have a zero tolerance policy regarding abuse of any kind. If we suspect abuse, we will contact the Texas Department of Family Services.

Material provided by Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Adult Protective Services and the American Bankers Association.

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