The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shared in a blog post published this week some lessons it has learned from the nationwide “Elder Fraud Prevention and Response Networks” series it has established. Of particular note are the lessons learned during the pandemic.
One lesson noted by the CFPB is that seniors who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community could be at higher risk of elder financial exploitation.
“Formerly, networks and convenings were based on location,” the post states. “But in May 2022, we facilitated the first national, population-specific convening focused on LGBTQ+ older adults and financial exploitation. A listening session revealed that LGBTQ+ older adults are often at higher risk of financial exploitation and may be more susceptible to isolation.”
In partnership with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and organizations dedicated to improving the lives of seniors, the CFPB held a virtual summit to gather information on the elements of financial abuse faced by LGBTQ+ seniors.
One potential solutions discussed during the event was targeted community outreach to LGBTQ+ seniors, which could help raise awareness of and resistance to scams. Another potential solution was enhanced tracking of scams that target LGBTQ+ seniors, which could help to raise education and awareness, the CFPB said.
The networks also told the CFPB a common issue stems from soliciting assistance from financial institutions.
“The most common challenge was obtaining documents from financial institutions for law enforcement investigations,” the blog states. “Another challenge was the lack of investigative collaboration among financial institutions, law enforcement, and adult protective services. These challenges are ones that the CFPB’s network program is designed to address.”
The lack of recognition for issues along racial, cultural and geographic lines was also noted as an impediment to raising awareness of elder financial exploitation. A less specialized approach to education could potentially increase the susceptibility of seniors in certain groups or areas.
“These networks are working to address this priority through building relationships with diverse affinity organizations as well as training,” the CFPB said.
The Bureau is encouraging more people to engage with these networks in an effort to combat elder financial abuse in their regions and communities.