The Department of Banking, in collaboration with LPL Financial and the Connecticut Insurance Department, held an elder fraud training in Farmington with LPL Financial advisors. This week also marks Senior$afe Training Week, in which the department, along with other state regulators, encourage financial services industry training around elder financial abuse and exploitation.

Senior$afe is designed to train financial professionals to identify possible financial abuse early on and encourage reporting to appropriate authorities. The training involves recognizing and reporting the red flags of potential elder financial exploitation, such as sudden large withdrawals or uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money.

“Seniors are often targeted for financial fraud and exploitation because they may be isolated from family, caregivers and other support networks. That’s why it is important to know the red flags that could signal an elder’s savings may be in danger,” Banking Commissioner Jorge L. Perez said in a statement. “This is yet another opportunity to reinforce our commitment to protecting seniors in our communities.”

Perez highlighted three warning signs of possible elder financial fraud or exploitation to watch for:

  • Has the elder moved away from existing relationships and toward new associations with other “friends” or strangers who show excessive interest in his or her finances or accounts, refuse to allow the elder to speak or are reluctant to leave the senior’s side during conversations?
  • Does the elder show an unusual degree of fear, anxiety, submissiveness or deference toward the person accompanying him or her?
  • Does the elder display unexplained or unusual excitement over an investment opportunity, financial windfall or prize check?

Elder financial abuse is on the rise due to the amount of wealth seniors have accumulated throughout their careers and the increasing number of retirees throughout Connecticut.

“Financial services professionals are uniquely positioned to serve as a front line of defense to spot potential elder financial fraud and exploitation and alert authorities,” Perez said in a statement. “Our Senior$afe training provides vital information to help industry professionals spot common signs of financial abuse among their senior clients.”

Senior$afe is one of various trainings the department provides to help financial services employees learn how to identify and report suspected cases of senior financial exploitation.