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Preventing Financial Exploitation of Seniors and Disabled Adults in Missouri Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Senior and Disability.

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Presentation on theme: "Preventing Financial Exploitation of Seniors and Disabled Adults in Missouri Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Senior and Disability."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preventing Financial Exploitation of Seniors and Disabled Adults in Missouri Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Senior and Disability Services

2 Missourians  Missourians  Stopping  Adult  Financial  Exploitation Missourians  Missourians  Stopping  Adult  Financial  Exploitation What Is MOSAFE?

3  AARP  Missouri Alliance of Area Agencies on Aging  Missouri Association of Public Administrators  Missouri Bankers Association  Missouri Credit Union Association  Missouri Independent Bankers Association  Missouri Police Chiefs Association  Missouri Sheriffs’ Association  Office of the Attorney General  Office of the Lieutenant Governor  AARP  Missouri Alliance of Area Agencies on Aging  Missouri Association of Public Administrators  Missouri Bankers Association  Missouri Credit Union Association  Missouri Independent Bankers Association  Missouri Police Chiefs Association  Missouri Sheriffs’ Association  Office of the Attorney General  Office of the Lieutenant Governor MOSAFE Partners

4  Stop attempted or ongoing financial exploitation before funds are exhausted  Train employees of financial institutions on how to detect & report  Educate consumers & the general public that this is a crime  Stop attempted or ongoing financial exploitation before funds are exhausted  Train employees of financial institutions on how to detect & report  Educate consumers & the general public that this is a crime Goals of MOSAFE

5 The illegal use of a senior or disabled adult’s resources for another person’s gain or profit. ( , RSMo ) The illegal use of a senior or disabled adult’s resources for another person’s gain or profit. ( , RSMo ) What Is Financial Exploitation?

6 Examples Exploitation occurs when:  A senior or disabled adult is being charged excessive fees for rent or services.  Money or property is stolen by someone in a position of trust.

7 Examples Exploitation occurs when:  Money or property is obtained by undue influence, fraud, or misrepresentation.  A senior or disabled adult’s checks are forged or s omeone uses a senior or disabled adult’s ATM without consent.

8 Examples Exploitation occurs when:  Someone such as a Power of Attorney mismanages the senior or disabled adult’s income or assets.  A senior or disabled adult’s money is used in any way that does not benefit the senior or disabled adult.

9 The Law Applies To Missourians Who Are: 60 years and older OR with mental or physical disability

10 Why MOSAFE Is Needed?  Nationally, the percentage of seniors tripled during the past century.  Number of MO seniors will more than double in next 25 years.

11 Why MOSAFE Is Needed?  Seniors become prime targets as the majority of spending power lies with them.  In FY’07, the Department received 4,319 reports alleging exploitation… more than twice the number received in FY’05 when MOSAFE first began.

12  Tends to be isolated, socially or physically.  Not necessarily wealthy.  May be competent, but have trouble making reasoned decisions regarding finances.  Tends to be isolated, socially or physically.  Not necessarily wealthy.  May be competent, but have trouble making reasoned decisions regarding finances. Victim Characteristics

13  May be dependent on the perpetrator.  May suffer from more than one type of abuse or neglect.

14  May be reluctant to admit that his or her loved one is an abuser.  May be afraid to report abuse due to fear or further abuse, loss of independence, or abandonment.  May be reluctant to admit that his or her loved one is an abuser.  May be afraid to report abuse due to fear or further abuse, loss of independence, or abandonment. Victim Characteristics

15 Two Types of Exploiters  People unknown to the senior; i.e.. scam artists.  People known to the senior; i.e. family members, acquaintances, and/or fiduciaries.

16  Has close access to the senior or disabled adult.  Tends to be a younger adult male.  Tends to be a relative, especially an adult child.  Has close access to the senior or disabled adult.  Tends to be a younger adult male.  Tends to be a relative, especially an adult child. Perpetrator Characteristics

17 Possible Perpetrators  Family member  Caregiver, could be a relative or someone hired as a caregiver  Independent home repair contractor  Neighbor  Medical professional - home service provider, nurse or aide  Door-to-door salesman  Insurance agent

18 Any Person, Male or Female, From Any Walk of Life Could Exploit You.

19 How Does This Happen?

20 A Senior or Disabled Adult Needs Assistance So They May:  Seek advise on financial matters;  Assign someone as Power of Attorney; or,  Place someone on their bank accounts.

21 Financial Advisors Before doing business with or giving any financial information to a broker or investment advisor…  Check with your state securities regulator for information on brokers & brokerage firms.  Check all credentials…visit Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website.

22 Power of Attorney (POA) A Power of Attorney gives another individual the right to “act as if they were you” … as your “attorney in fact”.

23 Pros & Cons of a POA Pros  Convenient legal means to plan for future assistance.  Readily available & executed easily.  Emergency access to money or property Cons  Cons  Little or no oversight or accountability.  Provides unlimited access to money or property.

24 Safeguards Make sure the Power of Attorney stipulates…  Only transactions benefiting the senior or disabled adult can be conducted.  The senior or disabled adult’s money cannot be used for anyone or anything except the senior or disabled adult.

25 Safeguards Make sure the Power of Attorney stipulates…  A mandatory accounting of any & all transactions.  That the person authorized to be the POA understands the responsibilities & that violation of the POA could result in criminal prosecution for exploitation or theft.

26 Joint Bank Accounts These are governed by the banking industry’s rules & regulations. However, it is generally agreed, that when a person is on a joint account & takes out all of the money, no crime has occurred.

27 Reporting Financial Exploitation

28 Who Do I Call? Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Elder Abuse Hotline

29 Department of Health & Senior Services  Maintains the Elder Abuse & Neglect Hotline  Mandated to investigate reports of abuse, neglect & financial exploitation statewide  Provides Adult Protective Services to seniors & disabled adults, including assistance with obtaining needed resources

30 For violations of the Missouri consumer fraud law…call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline or For violations of the Missouri consumer fraud law…call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline or

31 What Can You Do?  Get specific information – Names, dates, times  Tell what you saw or heard – Help the department understand the situation as you witnessed it.

32 Ways to Protect Yourself

33 Don’t Open the Door to Strangers.

34 Watch Out for People Who Appear at Your Door & Tell You Work Needs to be Done.

35 Seek Legal Advice Before Signing Contracts or Powers of Attorney.

36 For a comprehensive listing of the state-wide resources available to help older persons with law- related issues, check this link: urces/docs/Missouri07.pdf

37 Be Careful About Responding to Advertisements or Telephone Calls from Solicitors.

38 To Check on a Charity That Has Solicited You…Use the Attorney General’s Website

39 Don’t Sign Blank Checks

40 Use Caution When Cosigning Loans or Offering to Guarantee a Loan.

41 Everyone is Allowed One Free Credit Report Each Year. T he only site that allows a FREE credit report is …. Or You Can Call

42 More Tips  Keep an inventory of all jewelry.  Shred blank checks mailed with credit card statements & other identifying mail.  Never leave outgoing mail in box where it can be stolen.

43 Other Tips  Never do business with unlicensed contractors.  Get caller ID.  Have a trusted friend or relative receive duplicate copies of financial statements.

44 Don’t Allow Yourself to Become a Victim of Financial Exploitation.

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