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RedFlag Accelerator Update: Protecting the elderly from financial abuse

RedFlag Accelerator Update: Protecting the elderly from financial abuse

28 Jul 2022

While we make our way through high summer, the world continues to stumble upon old and new crises, and there are always criminals ready and waiting to take advantage of the vulnerable. We constantly follow news reports and headlines on how human trafficking threats are evolving. As a result, and in preparation for the World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30th, the latest RedFlag Accelerator Typologies update brings all our findings together, enhancing existing content and adding new trends.

You know us for the work we have been doing to help banks and other partners to identify human trafficking and child sexual exploitation in their data. We are continuing that work, but also, we are expanding. All financial crime is intrinsically tied and results in loss and exploitation of the vulnerable in our society. Therefore, to fully meet our mission statement of “we exist to open the doors of finance to all, and to protect those who enter” we are working to add new typologies to the RedFlag Accelerator, with the first being elder abuse.

Elder abuse is a global issue that affects the human rights of millions of older people around the world. It is also one of the least reported and investigated crimes, and that must change. Last month we marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and saw the latest advisory from FinCEN on these crimes. To give this issue its deserved attention, our latest RedFlag Accelerator release introduces the Elderly Financial Exploitation Typology. This brings two scenarios that are enriched with behavioural and financial red flags to aid banks with identifying, preventing and reporting suspected elder abuse activities.

The lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as social isolation and loneliness, together with the rising cost of living, is making the older population an easy target for criminals. As a result, elder financial exploitation cases, along with fraud and scams, have skyrocketed in the past two years. And it comes at a great cost. According to the National Council on Aging, it costs victims as much as $36.5 billion each year in the US alone.  Elderly people should not have to endure abuse by criminals who seek to defraud them of their lifelong savings and rob them of their dignity, security, and – in some cases – their lives. Banks can play a critical role in helping to identify, prevent and report suspected elderly financial exploitation.

The cost of getting financial crime wrong is exceedingly high. Having the right controls in place is more important than ever. RedCompass Labs RedFlag Accelerator helps banks and other financial services firms to detect these heinous crimes in their data and also ensure that their systems are not being used to buy or sell people.

Download the latest typologies here.