The Illinois Department of Aging, hosted it's yearly summit today to strengthen the way state and federal agencies work together with financial institutions to protect against financial exploitation of seniors. Financial exploitation is the most common form of elderly abuse reported each year and its victims are, more often than not, a white female with an average age of 79. According to state law, employees of financial institutions must undergo training to identify all of the indicators of financial exploitation, including how to report exploitation. The Illinois Department on Aging, in cooperation with IDFPR, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of the U.S. Office for Older Americans, invited bank and credit union employees to, today's third annual “Summit of the Prevention of Elderly Financial Fraud and Abuse” to participate in workshops that would help them to protect senior consumers assets and train them on how to detect and avoid financial abuse and what is needed to prosecute financial fraud.
The featured speaker at today's summit was Terry Savage, author, syndicated financial columnist and nationally recognized expert on personal finance, the economy and the markets. Ms. Savage presented the “Savage Truth about Protecting Our Elders’ Money.” Seniors and care givers can find out more about Elder abuse and financial exploitation by visiting the Illinois Department of Aging and look for Adult Protective Services or contact one of the 45 provider agencies in your area.
Governor Quinn created the state's first ever Adult Protective Services Unit by signing legislation in 2013. The APS unit was created to ensure that every allegation made by a elderly or disabled person is thoroughly investigated. Over time, Gov. Quinn has signed legislation that strengthens training standards for employees of financial institutions, increased the penalties for financial exploitation of the elderly and the disabled and has made it easier to report elderly abuse or neglect via the Internet. He also signed legislation allowing the state to freeze a defendant’s assets if he or she is charged with financial exploitation of the elderly, allowing law enforcement a chance to obtain reports and evidence of elder abuse or neglect.