JOHNSTON, RI -- Lt. Governor Dan McKee, Chair of Rhode Island's Long Term Care Coordinating Council, teamed up with the Credit Unions of Rhode Island and Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena to launch the CU Senior Safeguard, an online educational program developed to fight the financial scams and fraud targeting the elderly.
Through CU Senior Safeguard, credit unions across Rhode Island are certifying their team members with knowledge about elder financial abuse, how to spot it and what to do in response. The program also offers a free online training to equip consumers with the critical knowledge and skills needed to protect loved ones from financial abuse. The consumer training focuses on four major areas:
1) Expectations of a Financial Caregiver: Understand the role and expectations of a financial caregiver. 2) Preventing Elder Fraud: Learn about scams and financial abuse targeting older individuals and how to stop them. 3) Planning for a Caregiver: Learn what a caregiver does and how to select one that meets your specific needs. 4) Becoming a Caregiver: Review legal caregiver roles and understand how to plan ahead.
CU Senior Safeguard was created by the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) in response to a 2017 national credit union survey that showed more than two-thirds of familial caretakers reporting that their elderly relatives were once a target of a financial fraud or scam. Through CU Senior Safeguard, CCUA member credit unions hope to not only raise awareness of elder financial abuse but also provide the appropriate resources and financial education necessary to combat it.
"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 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."
"The Credit Unions of Rhode Island are grateful to Lt. Governor Dan McKee for his support in calling attention to elder financial abuse," said Paul Gentile, CCUA President/CEO. "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 our efforts to protect seniors and their life savings from loss, abuse and scams."
Rhode Islanders can participate in the free CU Senior Safeguard training program by visiting BetterValuesBetterBanking.com.