June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month – specifically June 15 is the day! There are so many areas where our elderly family and friends can be abused or mistreated. In the state of Ohio, your financial institution is one of many mandatory reporters. What that means is, we are to be looking out for your best interests. If we suspect someone may be mistreating you or taking advantage of you, we are obligated to report that.
Our staff truly cares for our members of any age, but the elderly are often targeted by scammers. Your best interest is always at the forefront of our interactions with you. Sometimes we may ask questions, and you find yourself wondering – why? It is because our front-line staff is trained to be on the lookout for possible scams or fraudulent transactions. Again – they do this to protect you. We are the last line of defense when it comes to protecting you from financial losses. We aren’t asking to be nosy, but rather to protect you. Our elderly members often live on a fixed income and cannot afford to lose money to any fraudsters.
There are things you can do to protect yourself.
1) Have a trusted individual on your account as a joint owner, or possibly assign someone as a Power of Attorney. We have forms you can complete for Power of Attorney over your account in house!
2) If you aren’t sure about a transaction or are being asked to do a transaction by someone, ask for help. Our tellers can assist you and if necessary, get you through to our fraud specialist.
3) One scam that we hear of regularly is the grandchild scam – you get a call from someone claiming to be a grandchild in trouble – with the plea “don’t tell mom or dad”. Do not agree to send money and hang up the phone and either call your grandchild or their parents. You will likely find that the grandchild is right where they are supposed to be.
4) Fraudsters may act like they care about you – but they just want to separate you from your money!
When in doubt – ask your tellers! They are here to help you.