June 13, 2024

Nacha’s Payments Innovation Alliance Observes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day with New Resources to Combat Financial Exploitation of Older Americans

Elder Financial Abuse Prevention Checklist for Financial Institutions

Nacha's Payments Innovation Alliance, a membership program bringing together diverse global stakeholders seeking to transform the payments industry, has updated tools to educate the public and financial institutions about the prevalence of elder financial exploitation and how to assist account holders who may have been targeted.

In the U.S. more than five million older adults experienced financial exploitation in 2023[1], with financial losses totaling $36.5 billion[2]. To address this widespread issue, the Alliance’s Consumer Financial Exploitation Project Team has developed an an infographic providing key statistics on the prevalence of elder financial exploitation and an Elder Financial Exploitation Awareness Financial Institution Checklist designed to help banks and credit unions assist customers who may have been targeted.

Last year, the Alliance formed the Consumer Financial Exploitation Project Team, a group dedicated to creating educational resources and tools to enable the industry to fight financial fraud and collaborate with the financial crimes ecosystem, including law enforcement and consumer advocacy groups. Earlier this year, the Project Team released a customizable infographic to help financial institutions aid consumers in determining if they could be a money mule.  A related video has just been released.

"Financial exploitation of older adults is a growing concern that demands our attention," said Consumer Financial Exploitation Project Team Co-Leader Mary Gilmeister, AAP, NCP, President & CEO, Macha. "By equipping financial institutions with these resources, we aim to strengthen their ability to safeguard their account holders and provide critical support to those affected by fraud."

The release of these resources coincides with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, created by the United Nations in 2011 to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

"Raising awareness about scams targeting the elderly and educating consumers on how to report these crimes is vital to combating the financial exploitation of some of our most vulnerable citizens," said Angela Nielsen, AAP, APRP, ETA, CPP, Director of Product Strategy at Nelnet Payment Services and Co-Leader of the Consumer Financial Exploitation Project Team. "Elder financial exploitation is widespread, affecting families, communities and society as a whole. It's imperative that we unite to find effective solutions."

To learn more about elder financial exploitation prevention initiatives  visit nacha.org/consumer-financial-project-team. To learn more about the Payments Innovation Alliance, including how to join, visit https://www.nacha.org/payments-innovation-alliance.

About Nacha

Nacha governs the thriving ACH Network, the payment system that drives safe, smart, and fast Direct Deposits and Direct Payments with the capability to reach all U.S. bank and credit union accounts. There were 31.5 billion ACH Network payments made in 2023, valued at $80.1 trillion. Through problem-solving and consensus-building among diverse payment industry stakeholders, Nacha advances innovation and interoperability in the payments system. Nacha develops rules and standards, provides industry solutions, and delivers education, accreditation, and advisory services.