This webinar shared descriptions of international financial crimes that target the elderly, identified where to file complaints, and why to do so. It also described the challenges of working with these populations, including managing expectations and the impact of promising programs. Presenters for this webinar are fraud fighter superstars: FBI Victim Specialist Debbie Deem and Steve Baker, former Director of the Federal Trade Commission of the Midwest, who has authored reports for the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the recent CEJC blog post ‘Awash in a Sea of Fraud: No Guns, No Action’.
This webinar discussed the epidemic of financial crimes perpetrated against the elderly in the USA and America’s response to these threats. The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center has reported that internet romance scams targeting older adults is the #1 reported personal crime by loss of dollar amount reported to them. A new study by the BBB reports that 2,820 people reported sweepstakes and lottery scams in 2017, with a median loss of $500. There have undoubtedly been many more victims with even greater losses. Many victims are afraid to report, or see limited results when they do.
Professionals working with victims, suffering devastating losses and emotional trauma are victimized repeatedly, and may play a role in their own victimization. Some victims need help negotiating with: creditors, family members, the IRS, landlords, and/or public benefits programs after their victimizations; while others may be implicated in crimes they were unaware of.
Debbie Deem, FBI Victims Specialist Steve Baker, International Investigations Specialist, Better Business Bureau
Engaging Financial Institutions in Abuse Investigations (June 6, 2018)
Financial institutions often have information critical to elder financial abuse investigations that privacy concerns prevent them from sharing with investigators. In 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other federal agencies issued guidelines explaining what information institutions can share, which is more than many thought. Getting the word out was another matter.
The National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) collaborated with the Philadelphia Corporation on Aging (PCA) to create a protocol that APS and other investigators can use in requesting evidence. Florida APS Director Robert Anderson, who spearheaded its use in his state, says that getting bank records was APS' workers' #1 complaint in 2015 but had disappeared by 2016 thanks to the protocol!
Anderson joined Alan Lawitz, Director of New York's Bureau of Adult Services, which is also using the protocol, on a panel to describe their experiences. The session was led by Joe Snyder, PCA's recently retired APS Director, who spearheaded the development of the protocol, which was supported by the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders. The protocol won the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging's National Aging Achievement Award. To see the Protocol, go to National Guidelines on the NAPSA website.
Robert K. Anderson, State Director, Adult Protective Services, Florida Department of Children and Families Alan Lawitz, Esq., Director, Bureau of Adult Services, New York State Office of Children & Family Services Joe Snyder, Elder Justice Consultant, Chair of the Philadelphia Financial Exploitation Prevention Task Force, Chair of NAPSA’s Public Policy Committee, and Board Member of the National Institute on Elder Financial Exploitation
Building an Elder Justice Movement State by State (May 1, 2018)
Protecting the rights, safety, and security of older adults requires comprehensive public policy and programs for abuse reporting, legal assistance, victims' rights, consumer protection, patients’ rights, and long term services and supports. This webinar described 4 state coalitions in California, Minnesota, Ohio, and New York that are mobilizing stakeholders to design policies and programs that prevent abuse, counter ageism, promote autonomy and independence, and improve service delivery. It was the first in a series of webinars as part of CEJC’s National Elder Justice Advocates Academy with support from the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders.
Lisa Nerenberg, MSW, MPH, Executive Director, California Elder Justice Coalition Risa Breckman, LCSW, Executive Director, NYC Elder Abuse Center Georgia Anetzberger, PhD, ACSW, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University Iris Freeman, MSW, Adjunct Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law Paul L. Caccamise, LMSW, ACSW, Vice President for Program, Lifespan of Greater Rochester Inc.
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