Four ways to support your community’s fight against elder financial exploitation

“How do I make sure that no one steals my money?”
“How do I make sure that no one steals my money?”

Financial exploitation robs millions of older people of their money and property every year. To prevent and respond to the crisis of elder financial exploitation, people are working together in hundreds of communities across our nation.

These networks of people bring together, among others, community volunteers, local law enforcement, social workers, health care and legal professionals, banks and credit unions, government agencies, and accountants. Networks combat financial exploitation through different activities. Many are educating their community, training professionals, coordinating efforts between agencies, and reviewing cases of financial exploitation.

Here are four ways you can help to protect older people in your community from financial exploitation:

Find a local network and attend their meetings and activities. Many networks conduct meetings to raise awareness about safety and common frauds and scams. Find out if there is a network in your community and when it meets by contacting your local sheriff, police department, or local Area Agency on Aging.

Share what you learn with others.  You can help your networks’ educational and prevention work by sharing the information  with your family, friends, and neighbors. Check out this resource that others are passing on.

Lend a hand.  Many networks depend on volunteers to carry out their activities. Retired lawyers, bankers, teachers, police officers, and others serve as leaders and train others to detect, prevent, and respond to financial exploitation. Many volunteers also support their network’s educational work by reaching out to community and faith-based groups.  Many are serving as trainers for educational programs, such as Money Smart for Older Adults . Ask your local network if they need an extra hand.

Build a network. If you live in one of the nearly 2,300 counties without a network, create a network in your community. Learn more about existing networks and get some tips on how to start a network in your community.

Together we can build communities that support the safety and independence of older people by protecting them from financial predators.

The Ventura Council for Seniors (VCS) is designed to provide a forum to discuss issues and initiatives and  to develop recommendations for City Council consideration. The VCS is designated by the Ventura City  Council as the representative organization of all seniors in the City of Ventura. The group meets at the  Ventura Avenue Adult Center (550 N. Ventura Ave. 648-3035) on the third Wednesday of every month from 9:30-11am.

The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (477-7300), an agency of the County of Ventura, is the principal agency  in Ventura County charged with the responsibility to promote the development and implementation of a  comprehensive coordinated system of care that enables older individuals and their caregivers to live in a  community-based setting and to advocate for the needs of those 60 years of age and older in the  county, providing leadership and promoting citizen involvement in the planning process as well as in the  delivery of services.

 

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