June 14, 2019 – Revelstoke BC: Revelstoke Credit Union helps to raise awareness of the Financial Abuse of Seniors.
Revelstoke Credit Union’s frontline staff are a frequent point of contact for many senior citizens in Revelstoke who may not socialize or visit with many other people on a regular basis, and in some cases are the only people they may see in a day.
RCU Account Services staff have each been trained to internally to recognize fraud of all types and externally by our CRN representative specifically to look for telltale signs of financial abuse of senior citizens. One of the most important things to understand is that financial abuse might be coming from unlikely sources like international fraudsters or family members. The Credit Union has a unique position in Revelstoke as a community bank where we deal, confidentially with friends, family and neighbours.
The close nature of our community gives us a bit of extra insight into a senior’s personal situation that may help to prevent financial abuse. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that abuse does occur, and our idyllic little mountain town is not immune from the desperation some people resort to where they prey upon the senior citizens and
other vulnerable people in our community.
Here are a few things that might send up red flags for our staff:
1. Frequent transfers or cheques for the same person, even a family member.
2. Large, unusually timed cash withdrawals that do not match regular spending habits.
3. If a senior citizen has the same escort accompany and wait for them only when that senior citizen is in depositing or cashing a monthly government cheque.
4. Large bank drafts made out to people they don’t even know may point to senior’s falling for local and international scams.
In cases like these mentioned above, accounts are flagged and if problems persist individuals are taken aside and informed of the possibility they may be the target of abuse. Once there is a full and clear understanding of the dilemma they are offered help in dealing with and stopping the situation of abuse.
Along with our alert and caring staff, RCU also provides Financial Literacy workshops that deal specifically in preventing the financial abuse of seniors. Our workshops highlight the points mentioned above and bring several other important signs of fraud and abuse to light. The workshops are free, and we would be happy to present one to your group of senior citizens.