Older Australians reminded to stay financially safe this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Older Australians reminded to stay financially safe this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) is reminding older Australians about how they can better protect themselves from scams, fraud and financial abuse.

The ABA is today publishing the 2024 ‘Safe and Savvy’ guide as an important tool to help people protect themselves. Originally, developed by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in partnership with community organisations, the guide sets out a range of warning signs and safeguards older Australians can put in place.

ABA CEO Anna Bligh said it was important for older Australians to be aware of the warning signs and the many practical steps they can take to keep themselves financially safe.

“Today is a timely reminder for older Australians that there is assistance available to help better protect themselves from the impact of scams, fraud and financial abuse,” Ms Bligh said.

“Knowing what types of scams and fraud to look out for, the tactics scammers and fraudsters will employ and the proactive safeguards that can be put in place, are all important considerations to help keep your money safe.

“When it comes to financial abuse, it’s important to equip people with the knowledge of what it might look like, how it might occur, and then empowering them to take action if they see it happening or are a victim themselves.

The ‘Safe and Savvy’ guide is designed to provide simple and practical advice on issues such as:

  • Safeguarding against scams and fraud
  • Understanding elder financial abuse, and knowing its warning signs
  • Planning for the future
  • Advice and support for carers and attorneys
  • Where to go for help

“Banks see financial abuse playing out every day and have measures in place to help prevent it and keep older Australians safe.

“Banks are highly alert to the warning signs of elder abuse, train their staff to recognise red flags and have specialist teams that can respond and support victims.

Banks can help customers put in place arrangements to support them to manage their banking safely, including:

  • ‘two to sign’ arrangements
  • pre-set digital and card limits
  • transaction notifications
  • blocks on overseas transactions made on cards and digitally
  • assistance with concerns about privacy or security
  • referring customers to internal and external support such as specialised customer assistance and financial counselling

“The key to preventing abuse is awareness, this day is a great reminder to plan ahead and for family members to look out for their loved ones,” Ms Bligh said.

Access the ‘Safe and Savvy’ guide here and read the ABA’s Industry Guidelines on Preventing and responding to financial abuse (including elder financial abuse) here.

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