Mitigating elder financial abuse risk

Financial institutions, including credit unions, have faced increased fraud risks (identity theft, scams, stolen, counterfeited and forged checks) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the overall national crisis. Several federal regulators have shown their concerns throughout recently issued guidance and publications.

On March 16, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released a statement to financial institutions concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. In the statement, FinCEN advised financial institutions to “remain alert about malicious or fraudulent transactions similar to those that occur in the wake of natural disasters.” FinCEN also identified imposter scams, investment scams, false investment opportunities scams, product scams and insider trading as emerging trends connected to COVID-19. You can read more in this NAFCU Compliance Blog.

Two days later, on March 18, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) warned consumers of recent scams with impostors posing as agency representatives and asking for bank account information or cash.

Also, on April 02, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a warning about C0VID-19 related scams, encouraging taxpayers to watch out for schemes tied to economic impact payments and to be on the lookout for a surge of calls and email phishing attempts about the COVID-19. In the statement the IRS states “[s]eniors should be especially careful during this period” and reminds retirees that “no one from the agency will be reaching out to them by phone, email, mail or in person asking for any kind of information to complete their economic impact payment/stimulus payments.”


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