Washington, DC—Today, the Bowser Administration in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15 urges residents to protect District of Columbia seniors by reporting possible financial fraud or exploitation to the Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB).
“Help us protect our city’s seniors,” said DISB Commissioner Karima M. Woods. “We want people to report elder abuse of any kind.”
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 Woods.
District seniors are encouraged to attend the DC Elder Abuse Prevention Committee World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Virtual Forum on June 29 from 1 to 3 p.m. The event will feature presentations and live interaction with representatives from local government agencies and non-profit organizations engaged in supporting District elders. The forum can be joined via Zoom at iona-org.zoom.us/j/7282929312 (Meeting ID: 728 292 9312). Participants can also join the forum by phone at 301-715-8592.
DISB has provided financial fraud prevention education at nearly 40 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.
Upcoming DISB events of interest to seniors include:
- DISB virtual presentation on “Reverse Mortgages, What You Should Know” today, June 15, 11 a.m. to noon with Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association.
- DISB virtual Flood and Water Damage Forum on June 24, 4 to 5 p.m.
- DISB virtual presentation on “COVID-19 Scams and Avoiding Coronavirus Fraud” on July 12, 7 to 8 p.m. at Area Neighborhood Commission 3-4G meeting.
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 Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (DISB) is three-fold:
(1) cultivate a regulatory environment that protects consumers and attracts and retains financial services firms to the District; (2) empower and educate residents on financial matters; and (3) provide financing for District small businesses.
Follow DISB on Social Media