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Op-ed: Let’s Work Together To Help Prevent Elder Financial Abuse

Monday, January 23, 2012

Santa Cruz Sentinel

The financial exploitation of seniors can take many forms. Some scams involve persuading people to put up good faith money, or a spurious transaction fee to claim a lottery prize. Others are more menacing, where a perpetrator coerces an elder into signing over investments, real estate or other assets through the use of manipulation, intimidation or threats.

Often, these scams raise the suspicions of bank employees who—when given proper guidance and training—are effective guards against financial abuse of elders. Since the passage in 2005 of the Financial Elder Abuse Reporting Act, authored by State Sen. Joe Simitian D-Palo Alto, bank employees have been required to notify authorities of incidents where elder financial abuse is suspected.

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