Washington, DC—Today, the Bowser Administration commits to justice for elder District residents in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 and urges residents to protect District of Columbia seniors by reporting possible financial fraud or exploitation to the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB).
“The growing senior population in the District has unfortunately been increasingly targeted for financial and other types of abuse,” said Stephen C. Taylor, DISB Commissioner. “Help us protect our city’s seniors by reporting elder abuse. Anyone can—and should—report abuse of an elderly person.”
Although elder abuse comes in many forms—physical, financial, emotional, neglect or abandonment—financial abuse is the most common form. The financial abuse of elders costs its victims an estimated $2.9 billion a year according to the Investor Protection Trust. Every year, an estimated 5 million, or one in 10, older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation, and many cases go unreported.
“To help fight and prevent this problem, DISB provides financial education and fraud prevention for District seniors year-round in all eight wards,” said Taylor.
District seniors are encouraged to attend DISB’s next Money Smart for Older Adults Elder Financial Exploitation presentation on Tuesday, June 18, from 1 pm to 2 pm at the Chevy
Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20015. The presentation will feature DISB experts teaching seniors how to protect themselves and others against financial fraud and exploitation.
DISB has provided financial fraud prevention education at nearly 20 senior-focused events since October in coordination with the District’s Elder Abuse Prevention Committee and other local and federal government agencies. To request a presentation in your community, follow this link.
Additional efforts to combat elder abuse include:
- Mayor’s Eighth Annual Senior Symposium on Wednesday, June 19, from 8:30 am to 3 pm at Ballou Senior High School, 3401 4th Street SE, Washington, DC 20032
- DISB Money Smart for Older Adults Workshop on Monday, June 17, from 1 pm to 2 pm at Garfield Terrace Senior Apartments, 2301 11th Street NW #LI, Washington, DC 20001
- DISB Money Smart for Older Adults Workshop on Thursday, June 20, from 1 pm to 2 pm at Harvard Towers Senior Apartments, 1845 Harvard Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
DISB also collaborated with the North American Securities Administrators Association and the National Adult Protective Services Association to offer tools to identify and report financial abuse or exploitation. Investment fraud is an area of particular concern, as victims can see their life savings depleted with little opportunity to recover financial stability. Investors and caregivers are urged to “investigate before investing” by calling DISB at (202) 727-8000 to verify if the product and person selling it are registered/licensed and if there have been any complaints.
Financial fraud and abuse in the District should be reported to DISB at (202) 727-8000 or online at disb.dc.gov. Residents should report elder abuse, neglect, self-neglect and exploitation to the District of Columbia’s Adult Protective Services at (202) 541-3950.
The mission of the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking is two-fold: 1) to protect consumers by providing equitable, thorough, efficient and prompt regulatory supervision of the financial services companies, firms and individuals operating in the District of Columbia; and 2) develop and improve market conditions to attract and retain financial services firms to the District of Columbia. Visit DISB online at disb.dc.gov.