As they left the bank, the elder man thanked him for helping them to not become victims of this potentially devastating scam.
Nothing is more gratifying than hearing from our partners and from elders themselves about how our work has made a difference by preventing a loss or, in the case below, even saving a life. EFPN’s partners are passionate and dedicated to our mission. We are truly blessed to work with such fine people who represent financial institutions that repeatedly go far beyond the call of duty to protect their elder customers and members.
This summer, we received a report from a credit union security supervisor in San Mateo. Her call center staff had taken a call from an elderly member who was being “coached” by someone in the background who became agitated and hostile after the employee referred the call to a manager. The elder sounded increasingly stressed and confused.
A review of the account activity revealed that several large, uncharacteristic withdrawals had occurred over the course of several weeks. The elder lived in Los Angeles so the credit union made a report to LA Adult Protective Services as per the new mandated reporting law. Unfortunately, the situation escalated and resulted in the security supervisor calling the LA District Attorney’s office. This triggered a call to local police who conducted a welfare check that found the elder malnourished, dehydrated and in very fragile condition. The home was filled with electronic equipment – allegedly purchased by the “caregiver” with the elder’s money. The credit union supervisor was told by the authorities that the elder was near death and that her diligence in following up had in fact, saved this elder’s life.
Another fine example is the dedication of Fremont Investment & Loan (FIL) whose CRA officer, Gary Dunn, has served on our Board of Directors for nearly five years and has contributed over $200,000 to fund our operations, training projects and special events. In September, FIL recently worked closely with EFPN to develop a public awareness campaign including statement stuffers with financial abuse prevention tips, and a large ad in the Orange County Register.
Shortly thereafter, an Orange County elder completed his transaction at a local branch and walked over to the manager’s desk with the newspaper ad in his hand. He asked the manager several questions about telephone calls his wife had been receiving. Since his wife was in the car, the manager encouraged him to bring her in. He explained to the wife that the callers were scam artists attempting to perpetrate a foreign lottery fraud. As they left the bank, the elder man thanked him for helping them to not become victims of this scam. He also mentioned how glad he was to be banking with FIL since they were able to help him stop his wife from falling for the scheme and jeopardizing their life savings.
These two “saves” demonstrate how valuable public awareness and the dedication of our partners are in protecting the elder members of our communities.
The two real-life examples presented here represent a few of the many calls we receive each year to tell us our work is having a positive impact on the lives of elder Californians. Although case investigations by APS and law enforcement are conducted in the strictest confidence, we hear enough to know that EFPN’s work in training, community education and public awareness has resulted in the savings of millions of dollars in elders’ assets.
Tragically, this problem is not going away; in fact, it’s getting worse. Now, more than ever, we need your support to continue the fight and spread the word to seniors through community education and public awareness events. Please give us a call to discuss how we can partner together to help your institution protect the elders in your community from this devastating crime.By
Jenefer Duane, CEO and Executive Director