Department of Financial Institutions
Hotline on Thursday Helps Prevent Elder Financial Abuse
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 9, 2011) – A hotline will be available for one day only on Thursday, Nov. 10 to give Kentuckians financial and medical advice to help protect the elderly from financial fraud. The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is joining the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), Investor Protection Trust (IPT), the Financial Planning Association (FPA), Baylor College of Medicine and the Investor Protection Institute to make this service possible. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance also is a partner in the project.
Three separate phone lines – covering general finance, medical and financial abuse questions – will be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST on Thursday. The toll-free hotlines will address questions and offer free advice in the following key areas:
- General Finance Questions 888-227-1776. Callers are encouraged to dial this number to speak with an expert from the Financial Planning Association about their family financial security. Callers will get answers to general financial questions; help identifying financial professionals who can provide additional advice; and information on protecting themselves and their loved ones from financial fraud. FPA professionals also can help initiate a conversation about money with adult children of older parents in order to help prevent elder investment fraud and financial exploitation.
- Medical Questions 888-303-0430. Callers can get advice from health care professionals about medical issues such as mild cognitive impairment. This medical concern can impact an older person’s ability to make wise and safe financial decisions and can increase their vulnerability to elder financial abuse and exploitation. The health care professionals can help callers recognize the warning signs of vulnerability to financial abuse and suggest referral routes for further medical screening.
- Financial Abuse Questions 888-303-3297. Callers will speak with an adult protective services (APS) professional about elder financial abuse and strategies for keeping themselves or older loved ones independent. Callers can get information on how to recognize the most common ways that older adults are financially exploited and methods for preventing elder financial abuse. APS professionals also will help callers take the proper steps if they suspect that a loved one is being financially abused or exploited.
“Approximately one out of every five citizens over the age of 65 has been victimized by a financial swindle,” said DFI Commissioner Charles Vice. “The Elder Financial Abuse Hotline will be a resource for victims of elder financial exploitation and family members and it will provide a channel to communicate professional advice and awareness.”
This hotline project is part of the national Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation (EIFFE) Prevention Program. Kentucky DFI is a partner in this initiative, which is funded by IPT. For more information, visit http://kfi.ky.gov/public/Pages/eiffe.aspx.
Also, actor Mickey Rooney will be the keynote speaker at a conference in Lexington on Nov. 14 titled “Broken Trust – Elder Financial Abuse.” Hosted by the University of Kentucky Justice Center for Elderly and Vulnerable Adults, this conference will provide information that will enable learners to recognize ongoing or potential financial abuse of elders, protect those at risk, and know what to do to stop ongoing exploitation. The program includes an EIFFE Prevention Program presentation by DFI. Find out more or register online at http://www.cecentral.com/live/3618.
The Investor Protection Trust (http://www.investorprotection.org) is a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education. The primary mission of IPT is to provide independent, objective information needed by consumers to make informed investment decisions.
DFI is an agency in the Public Protection Cabinet. It supervises the financial services industry by examining, chartering, licensing and registering various financial institutions, securities firms and professionals operating in Kentucky. DFI’s mission is to serve Kentucky residents and protect their financial interests by maintaining a stable financial industry, continuing effective and efficient regulatory oversight, promoting consumer confidence, and encouraging economic opportunities.