Washington, DC (June 12, 2024) — The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and its subsidiary, ICBA CRA Solutions, are providing tips for preventing elder financial abuse in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15. ICBA CRA Solutions hosted a webinar today to highlight resources available to community banks through its Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF) to help promote safe living environments for older Americans.

“This is a crucial issue for our nation’s seniors accounting for billions in annual losses,” said ICBA CRA Solutions Chairman Robert Fisher, president & CEO of Tioga State Bank in Spencer, NY. “Community bankers can make a meaningful impact by providing low-to-moderate income senior citizens and their families with resources to avoid elder abuse, fraud, and scams, as well as tools to report and combat these abuses.”

ICBA and SHCPF 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 your local community banker 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 if you are unable and 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 banks are often the first to recognize signs of financial exploitation and are trained to intervene and halt suspicious transactions before the funds are lost," said ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey. "We urge older Americans to leverage their community bankers' expertise to identify common scams and prevent criminal activity, thereby safeguarding the financial future they've diligently worked to build."

ICBA CRA Solutions’ foundation has helped hundreds of banks earn CRA credit by protecting residents of low-income senior housing facilities through our programs: Senior Crimestoppers, Senior Secure, and Senior Sentry. To learn more about elder financial abuse and prevention strategies, visit icba.org/eldercare. For more information about SHCPF, visit SHCPFoundation.org. For more information on ICBA CRA Solutions, visit icba.org/cra.

About ICBA

The Independent Community Bankers of America® has one mission: to create and promote an environment where community banks flourish. We power the potential of the nation’s community banks through effective advocacy, education, and innovation.

As local and trusted sources of credit, America’s community banks leverage their relationship-based business model and innovative offerings to channel deposits into the neighborhoods they serve, creating jobs, fostering economic prosperity, and fueling their customers’ financial goals and dreams. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at icba.org.

About ICBA CRA Solutions

ICBA CRA Solutions offers compliance solutions powered by the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation. Since its inception in 2000, it has helped banks across the country earn meaningful CRA credit for ensuring safe senior living environments through turnkey crime prevention programs. For more information, visit ICBA CRA Solutions’ website at icba.org/cra