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DISB Encourages Residents to Report Financial Fraud and Abuse of Elders

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day today, the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) urges residents to protect District of Columbia seniors by reporting possible financial fraud or exploitation.
 
“The growing senior population in the District has unfortunately been increasingly targeted for financial and other types of abuse,” said Commissioner Stephen C. Taylor. “Help us protect our city’s seniors by reporting elder abuse. Anyone can – and should – report abuse of an elderly person, whether it is physical, emotional or financial.”
 
Although elder abuse comes in many forms – physical, financial, emotional, neglect or abandonment, financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse costing 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. District seniors are encouraged to join us at our next program on June 21, DISB’s Senior Financial Services Clinic, at Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center (324 Kennedy Street, NW, 9:30 – 11:30 am) The clinic will feature DISB experts teaching seniors how to protect against financial fraud and information on topics important to seniors such as living on retirement, reverse mortgages and life, health and property insurance. More information can be found at this link
 
DISB has provided financial fraud prevention education at nearly 20 senior-focused events since September in coordination with the District’s Elder Abuse Prevention Committee and other District agencies. To request a presentation in your community, follow this link.
 
Other DISB efforts to combat elder abuse include: 
  • DISB is joining the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) as a partner organization with other local, federal and international agencies at the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Second Annual Global Summit tomorrow in Washington, DC. The summit brings together national policymakers, advocates, financial services institutions, media and social services organizations for national discussion on preventing elder abuse.
  • DISB also joined the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and the NASPA 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 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.