Rhode Island Credit Unions sound the alarm on elder financial abuse

Lt Gov. Dan McKee and area mayors join in the call for consumer education and action

MALBOROUGH, MA (August 23, 2018) — The Credit Unions of Rhode Island along with Lt Governor Dan McKee, Johnston Mayor Joe Polisena, North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi, and Cooperative Credit Union Association President/CEO Paul Gentile sounded the alarm on elder financial abuse yesterday during a noontime news conference at the Johnston Senior Center in Johnston, RI.

Standing before an audience of more than 50 seniors gathered at the center, as well as a news media contingent from local Providence stations, the delegation spoke about the increasing incidents of scams and fraud being perpetrated against seniors, calling for financial education and consumer action to prevent its expanding growth.

“Elder financial abuse is an invisible epidemic impacting thousands of Rhode Islanders and seniors across the country. Unfortunately, because of the sensitive nature of this crisis, many cases go unreported and unresolved,” said Lt. Governor McKee. “As Chair of our state’s Long-Term Care Coordinating Council, I challenge all Rhode Islanders to join my office and the Credit Unions of Rhode Island in spreading the word on how to identify elder financial abuse and how to stop it.”

One of the newest resources recently made available in the fight to prevent elder financial abuse is CU Senior Safeguard, a free online educational program sponsored by the Credit Unions of Rhode Island in cooperation with credit unions in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Delaware, all members of the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA).

In his remarks before the gathering, Gentile recognized and thanked the Credit Unions of Rhode Island for their commitment to elders by having frontline staff become certified in CU Senior Safeguard, a dramatic move to ensure they are doing all that’s possible to protect elders from financial harm. He also joined with the Lt. Governor by inviting all residents of Rhode Island to become more familiar with elder financial abuse and how to take action by participation in CU Senior Safeguard, accessible to all on the credit union website, Better Values – Better Banking.

“The Credit Unions of Rhode Island are grateful to Lt. Governor Dan McKee for his support in calling attention to elder financial abuse,” Gentile said. “By sounding the alarm on this growing travesty perpetrated against seniors and by making CU Senior Safeguard available to all the people of Rhode Island, credit unions hope to lead the way in efforts to protect seniors and their life savings from loss, abuse and scams.”

Yesterday’s ‘Lunch & Learn’ news conference in Rhode Island was the first of several being planned by CCUA for senior centers in Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire where credit unions hope to highlight concerns of elder financial abuse and the value CU Senior Safeguard can bring in the fight to prevent it.

About Cooperative Credit Union Association

About the Cooperative Credit Union Association: The Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) is the leading regional trade organization, acting as the advocate for nearly 200 credit unions spanning Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. These member credit unions collectively manage assets exceeding $75 billion, serving a combined membership of over 4.8 million consumers. Visit for more information.


Janelle Mullen
Director of Marketing

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