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    Elderly Suffer as Financial Abuse Grows

    From USA Today – Financial abuse of the elderly is getting worse, and most seniors don’t know how to seek reliable financial help.

    “There is no silver bullet that will end the financial abuse of America’s seniors,” says Don Blandin, president and CEO of the non-profit Investor Protection Trust (IPT), which released a survey Wednesday about elder exploitation. IPT conducted the survey after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requested more information about the problem.

    The experts IPT surveyed said the most common type of abuse is when family members steal or divert funds or property. The next biggest problems are caregiver theft and financial scams perpetrated by strangers.

    “Some of those financial scams by strangers can be ones that actually deplete the entire life savings of a senior at the worst possible time in their life,” Blandin says.

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    CUNA recently detailed efforts to curb elder financial abuse, according to News Now.

    Credit unions, state credit union leagues and the Credit Union National Association have coordinated to curb elder financial abuse, and the positive steps taken by these groups are detailed in a new CUNA comment letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Just over 14 million credit union members are age 62 or older, according to CUNA estimates. This represents 20% of all U.S. credit union members.

    Credit unions provide a full range of financial services to these members and their families, including financial management, retirement planning, and credit counseling, CUNA Regulatory Counsel Dennis Tsang wrote. The CUNA comment letter also noted that many credit unions provide unique credit union accounts and services that are tailored to the needs of seniors, such as checking and savings accounts with favorable terms or rates, and additional customer service options. Many credit unions also provide elder abuse information and additional resources on their websites and account statements.

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