Current Fraud Trends


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Current Fraud Trends

  1. 1. Elder and Dependent Adult Financial Abuse San Bernardino County Department of Aging and Adult Services March 2010
  2. 2. Slide Show Navigation <ul><li>This slide show is set up to automatically move from slide to slide. </li></ul><ul><li>If the slide show is moving too slow, click your mouse to advance to the next slide. </li></ul><ul><li>To return to a previous slide, click the “back” arrow. Click the “forward” arrow again when you are ready to start the slide show again. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Overview <ul><li>Senate Bill 1018: Financial Elder Abuse Reporting Act of 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>Who is an Elder or Dependent Adult? </li></ul><ul><li>What is Financial Abuse? </li></ul><ul><li>The role of financial institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Who are possible abusers? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Overview, continued <ul><li>What are the signs of financial abuse? </li></ul><ul><li>How to spot risk factors for potential financial abuse. </li></ul><ul><li>How to report financial abuse in San Bernardino County. </li></ul><ul><li>The role of Adult Protective Services (APS). </li></ul><ul><li>Other resources. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Senate Bill 1018: Financial Elder Abuse Reporting Act of 2005 <ul><li>Requirements of the Law: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A telephone report must be made to APS or law enforcement when an employee suspects financial abuse. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The telephone report must be followed up with a written report within two working days. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial institutions must: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop internal reporting structures, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop effective policies and procedures, and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work with APS and other enforcement agencies. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Who is considered an Elder or a Dependent Adult? <ul><li>An Elder is a person over the age of 65. </li></ul><ul><li>A Dependent Adult is a person between the ages of 18 and 64 with a physical or mental disability that makes it difficult to carry out normal activities or to protect his or her rights. </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is financial abuse? <ul><li>Financial abuse is generally defined as the improper use of an elder’s or dependent adult’s funds, property or assets. </li></ul><ul><li>SB 1018 states that “suspected financial abuse” occurs when a bank employee observes behavior or transactions that would lead a person with similar training to form a reasonable belief that an elder or dependent adult is the victim of financial abuse. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Extent of the Problem <ul><li>The extent that economic crimes affect the elder and dependent adult communities as well as the actual monetary impact involved are widely unknown due to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of reporting (embarrassment or shame), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Family dynamics, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of action taken (Civil vs. Criminal), or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Death. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Extent of the Problem, continued <ul><li>Elder and dependent adult financial abuse is one of the most under-recognized and under-reported crimes. </li></ul><ul><li>Elder abuse reports are up more that 150% in the last 10 years! </li></ul><ul><li>Nationally, only 1 in 14 cases are reported. </li></ul><ul><li>In the State of California, only 1 in 5 cases are reported.* </li></ul><ul><li>* Attorney General’s Office statistics from 2003. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Role of Financial Institutions <ul><li>Identify those at risk, </li></ul><ul><li>Implement policies and procedures to protect your customer, </li></ul><ul><li>Protect your customer from fraud and take necessary action, </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to all concerns and suspicions regarding financial abuse, and </li></ul><ul><li>Report all suspected instances of financial abuse. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Possible Abusers <ul><li>Caretakers, </li></ul><ul><li>Elder service providers, </li></ul><ul><li>Professionals who deal with elders or dependent adults, </li></ul><ul><li>Family members, </li></ul><ul><li>Neighbors, </li></ul>
  12. 12. Possible Abusers, continued <ul><li>“New” friends, </li></ul><ul><li>Telemarketers, </li></ul><ul><li>Organized transient crime families (“Travelers”), </li></ul><ul><li>Con artists, or </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone! </li></ul>
  13. 13. Signs of Financial Abuse <ul><li>Undue influence, </li></ul><ul><li>Suspicious behavior by the abuser and/or victim, </li></ul><ul><li>Suspicious financial activity, and/or </li></ul><ul><li>Financial exploitation. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Undue Influence <ul><li>Coercion, </li></ul><ul><li>Extortion, </li></ul><ul><li>Endearment, </li></ul><ul><li>Isolation, </li></ul><ul><li>Fear, </li></ul><ul><li>Trust, </li></ul><ul><li>Promises, </li></ul><ul><li>Persuasion, </li></ul><ul><li>Force, </li></ul><ul><li>Intimidation, </li></ul><ul><li>Abandonment, and/or </li></ul><ul><li>Ending care relationship. </li></ul>Undue influence means the use of:
  15. 15. Suspicious Behavior by Abuser <ul><li>Hostility to visitors, </li></ul><ul><li>Dominance over or speaking for elder/dependent adult, </li></ul><ul><li>Isolation of elder/dependent adult, </li></ul><ul><li>No visible means of support, and/or </li></ul><ul><li>Exaggerated concern or defensiveness for elder/dependent adult. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Suspicious Behavior by Elder or Dependent Adult <ul><li>Isolation, </li></ul><ul><li>Confusion or implausible explanations, </li></ul><ul><li>Hesitation to speak freely, </li></ul><ul><li>Embarrassment or shame, </li></ul><ul><li>Denial of abuse, and/or </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in behavior. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Suspicious Financial Activity <ul><li>Unusual volume or activity : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change in patterns of withdrawals/deposits, and/or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency of withdrawals. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changes in account status: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change of owners or account relationships, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change of address, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suspicious or irregular signatures on checks or documents, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other person(s) handling financial affairs, </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Suspicious Financial Activity, continued <ul><li>Change s in account status (continued): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sudden changes in incurred debt or credit standing, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early surrender or penalties on term accounts or investments, and/or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New requests to transfer assets to different financial institutions, brokers or wire transfers. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Suspicious Financial Activity, continued <ul><li>Inconsistent activity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase in transactions, checks written and/or inquiries made, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activity at different branch locations, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Withdrawal(s) from previously inactive accounts, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-sufficient funds and/or overdraft notices, </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Suspicious Financial Activity, continued <ul><li>Inconsistent activity (continued): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple checks payable to same person and/or entity, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New requests for automated services, such as: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ATM cards, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internet access, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Telephone access. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Suspicious Financial Activity, continued <ul><li>Inconsistent activity (continued): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requests for new lines of credit and/or increases to existing lines of credit, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New vehicle purchases (inconsistent to lifestyle), and/or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mortgage refinances and/or home equity loans. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Financial Exploitation Victim Characteristics <ul><li>Victim may be accompanied by a: </li></ul><ul><li>Stranger who encourages frequent or large cash withdrawals, </li></ul><ul><li>Family member or other person who coerces them to make transactions, and/or </li></ul><ul><li>People who appear “too” interested in their finances. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Financial Exploitation Victim Characteristics, continued <ul><li>Victim may also: </li></ul><ul><li>Appear nervous or afraid of the person accompanying them, </li></ul><ul><li>Not be allowed to speak for themselves or make decisions, </li></ul><ul><li>Be concerned or confused about “missing” funds, </li></ul><ul><li>Be unable to remember financial transactions, </li></ul><ul><li>Be fearful of eviction or abandonment by caregiver </li></ul><ul><li>Be isolated from family, friends, or other support groups. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Identifying Those at Risk <ul><li>Are widowed, </li></ul><ul><li>Never married, </li></ul><ul><li>Require caregiver or in-home worker, </li></ul><ul><li>Have physical limitations, </li></ul><ul><li>Are extremely trusting and open with others, </li></ul><ul><li>Are easily intimidated, influenced, or persuaded, </li></ul><ul><li>Have limited contact with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Family, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Friends, and/or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Church members </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rarely go outside the home. </li></ul>Some risk factors for financial abuse are persons who:
  25. 25. Look for these signs <ul><li>Victim communication and behavior: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confusion (particularly when it’s about something the person should know), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disorientation, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forgetfulness (or attempt to cover-up memory loss ) , and/or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slurred or rambling speech, difficulty understanding speech, or mumbling, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abrupt changes in communication style or personality. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Victim has difficulty with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities of daily living, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding written directions or documents, and/or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solving simple problems. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Victim’s Personal Appearance <ul><li>Look for changes and/or extremes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unkempt appearance, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emaciated or bloated appearance, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dirty or inappropriate clothing, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unshaven face, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uncombed hair, and/or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unusual or extreme body odors. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. The Written Report (SOC 342) <ul><li>A written report is completed on the SOC 342 - Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Financial Abuse form. </li></ul><ul><li>This report must contain : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer’s name, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer’s address, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer’s phone number, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A brief scenario of the observations or transactions that raised suspicions. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Where to Locate the SOC 342 <ul><li>The SOC 342 may be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Completed online at the following website: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Downloaded and copied from </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Important Note : The report must be called in and sent to Adult Protective Services, as instructed on the following slide. </li></ul>
  29. 29. How to File a Report in San Bernardino County <ul><li>Report suspected financial abuse of elders or dependent adults by telephone immediately, or as soon as possible , to the : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>County of San Bernardino 24-Hour Toll-Free Child and Adult Abuse Hotline (CAAHL) at (877) 565-2020, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local law enforcement agency. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. How to File a Report in San Bernardino County, continued <ul><li>Send a completed copy of the SOC 342 report within two working days of the phone call: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Via mail to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CAAHL at 412 West Hospitality Lane, San Bernardino, CA 92415-0029, or </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Via fax to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CAAHL at (909) 388-6718. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Consequences for Failing to File a Report <ul><li>Employees of financial institutions who fail to file a report when it can be proven that the employee should have suspected financial abuse will incur a: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fine of $1000-$5000 against the institution, and/or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible misdemeanor charge punishable with jail time. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Employees of financial institutions are not subject to individual fines for failure to report. </li></ul>
  32. 32. The Role of Adult Protective Services <ul><li>Adult Protective Services (APS): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is an agency that is state-mandated to receive and investigate reports of elder and dependent adult abuse and neglect, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connects elders and dependent adults with services, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides crisis intervention: assessing danger and developing service plans to reduce danger. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note : Investigations are mandatory , while services are voluntary. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Other Resources <ul><li>Elder Financial Protection Network: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>National Center on Elder Abuse: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>California Attorney General’s Office (Elder Abuse): </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. San Bernardino County Resources <ul><li>For questions in San Bernardino contact: </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Aging and Adult Services </li></ul><ul><li>686 E. Mill St </li></ul><ul><li>San Bernardino, CA 92415 </li></ul><ul><li>(909) 891-9048 </li></ul><ul><li>(760) 843-5160 </li></ul>