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Monday, June 17, 2024

Nacha alliance combats elder financial exploitation

Nacha's Payments Innovation Alliance, a membership program that unites global stakeholders with the goal of revolutionizing the payments industry, updated its resources to combat the growing issue of elder financial exploitation. The initiative aims to educate the public and financial institutions about the alarming prevalence of elder financial abuse and provide guidance on assisting victims.

In the United States, more than 5 million older adults fell prey to financial exploitation in 2023, resulting in a staggering $36.5 billion in losses. To address this, the Alliance's Consumer Financial Exploitation Project Team developed an infographic that highlights key statistics related to elder financial abuse. The team also created the Elder Financial Exploitation Awareness Financial Institution Checklist to help banks and credit unions support affected customers.

A dedicated team

The Project Team, formed in 2022, is dedicated to creating educational materials and fostering collaboration between financial institutions, law enforcement, and consumer advocacy groups. The group's previous resources include a customizable infographic that enables financial institutions to help consumers identify potential money mule schemes. An accompanying video was recently released to further bolster these efforts.

Mary Gilmeister, co-leader of the Consumer Financial Exploitation Project Team, emphasized the importance of raising awareness. "Financial exploitation of older adults is a growing concern that demands our attention," she said. "By equipping financial institutions with these resources, we aim to strengthen their ability to safeguard their account holders and provide critical support to those affected by fraud."

A dedicated day

The release of these resources coincides with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, established by the United Nations in 2011. Observed annually on June 15 the event seeks to promote a greater understanding of elder abuse and neglect, highlighting the social, economic and demographic factors that contribute to these issues.

"Raising awareness about scams targeting the elderly and educating consumers on how to report these crimes is vital to combating the financial exploitation of some of our most vulnerable citizens," stated Angela Nielsen, co-leader of the Consumer Financial Exploitation Project Team. "Elder financial exploitation affects families, communities, and society as a whole. It's crucial that we collaborate to find effective solutions."

Nacha governs the thriving ACH Network, the payment system that drives safe, smart and fast direct deposits and direct payments with the capability to reach all U.S. bank and credit union accounts. To learn more about Nacha's Payments Innovation Alliance and its efforts to prevent elder financial exploitation, visit nacha.org/consumer-financial-project-team. end of article

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