Keeping Seniors Safe: Regions Bank Provides Free Resources to Help Stop Financial Exploitation
In advance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Regions Next Step
is providing information and advice to help protect consumers.
Regions Bank on Monday announced a series of resources available
to help people recognize and stop senior financial exploitation.
The resources are part of Regions Next Step, the bank’s no-cost
financial education program that serves people of all ages,
regardless of whether they bank with Regions.
June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and with more than
10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, keeping seniors safe from
financial abuse is increasingly important. According to the
National Council on Aging, the annual loss by victims of financial
abuse is estimated to be at least $36.5 billion. Identifying and
reporting financial abuse is often difficult for seniors,
especially because it can often be caused by someone they trusted
or who seemed like they were offering legitimate help.
“It is incredibly disheartening for anyone to recognize they
have been scammed, and that’s why it’s so important to empower
people with information about common forms of fraud,” said Kate
Danella, head of the Consumer Banking Group for Regions Bank. “One
of the strongest defenses against fraud is a well-informed public.
When people know what to look for, they can often stop financial
exploitation from ever succeeding. And here at Regions, we are
working to do our part every day. From building strong
relationships with customers, to looking out for warning signs and
routinely asking questions about transactions and transfers, our
goal is to help people protect their assets and avoid financial
Information available year-round through Regions Next Step
includes preventive practices, tips for monitoring accounts and
investments, advice on identifying a trustworthy power of attorney,
and more. This includes a free webinar on Ways to Prevent Elder
Financial Abuse available in the expanded Next Step library of
resources. The webinar is available on demand and is accessible via
a mobile device, tablet or desktop computer.
Regions Next Step also recommends the following:
- Take the time to plan: Estate planning is important to
help seniors make key decisions for assets. A thoughtful plan gives
seniors full control of their assets, relieves the stress of
decision-making for caregivers and family members, saves money, and
allows time to gather information and find the best options.
Documents include a last will and testament, power of attorney,
living will, healthcare directive and more. A Regions legacy
planning checklist is available here.
- Evaluate who to trust: When naming an executor, many
people look to the most trustworthy person in their life: a spouse,
the most responsible child, or a close sibling or friend. A power
of attorney can help seniors manage financial affairs and
healthcare decisions if they become incapacitated. Consider a
family member or trusted friend as a power of attorney, or consider
other professionals, like an attorney or CPA, who are held to their
own professional standards.
- Know the warning signs: Everyone has a role to serve in
keeping loved ones safe. Watch for signs that may signal something
is wrong. Red flags may include several new or large withdrawals
that are inconsistent with a senior’s banking patterns, not paying
bills or buying food or other necessities, and changes in
appearance. If there are warning signs of exploitation, report it.
If there is immediate danger, call 911. If the financial abuse
involves a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission, and
contact local adult protective services.
- Protect personal information: Fraudsters exploit seniors
because they are often more trusting, have more savings and
investment income, or are less likely to regularly check financial
accounts and credit scores. Protecting personal information is
important to limit the risk of identity theft. Encourage seniors
not to provide personally identifiable information, like account
numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, etc., via phone call,
letter or email, no matter how friendly or official the
circumstances may appear. Only carry documents that are needed,
like identification cards, debit cards and credit cards, and leave
the others, like a Social Security card, in a safe place. Carefully
monitor financial statements and bills to ensure charges are
accurate and payments are received. Learn more about how to protect
identities and personal information with this no-cost,
easy-to-understand online course.
“As people age, one of the most important decisions they’ll make
is ensuring their financial resources are protected,” said Joye
Hehn, Next Step financial education manager for Regions Bank. “With
fraudsters continually on attack, having a plan in place is the
best first step to having peace of mind. Regions is committed to
providing free tools and resources to help seniors through
financial decisions that can reduce the risk of exploitation.”
For more tips and resources, visit www.Regions.com/Next-Step, or
visit any Regions branch to speak with an associate.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $164 billion in
assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the
nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial
banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services.
Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and
through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,300
banking offices and more than 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal
Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about
Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at
About Regions Next Step®
Regions Next Step is the financial education program from
Regions Bank, offering a free collection of action-oriented tips,
tools and resources. Next Step is designed to simplify financial
topics, help people of all ages and business of varying sizes stay
on track and meet financial goals. Resources are available online,
in-person, virtually, and in English and Spanish. In 2021, Next
Step provided financial education to more than 1.4 million people
across the company’s footprint, delivered approximately 124,000
financial wellness workshops, received 2.4 million financial
education content page views and associates completed 7,000
financial education volunteer hours. Additional information and
resources are available at Regions.com/NextStep.
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Jennifer Elmore Regions Bank (334) 240-1220
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