MINNEAPOLIS (4/24/14)--Minnesota's Department of Commerce recently released first-of-its-kind guidance on privacy laws regarding elder financial abuse, and a credit union CEO was on stage for Tuesday's news conference on the subject.
"It was an honor to be chosen and to be a part of it," Terri Maloney, president/CEO of Catholic United Financial CU, St. Paul, with $18 million in assets, told News Now.
Maloney joined Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman; Hubert "Skip" Humphrey, assistant director, Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Will Phillips, state director, AARP; Matt Bostrom, Ramsey County sheriff; and Peggy Hiestand-Harri, whose elderly mother was a victim of fraud.
"We know that senior citizens, and the Baby Boomers who have a great amount of wealth, have a big target on their backs," Rothman told the audience at the Lyngblomsten Care Center (Pioneer Press April 23).
During the press conference, Rothman shared the Commerce Department's guidance that allows financial institutions to disclose nonpublic personal information--for the purpose of reporting suspected financial abuse of older adults--to local, state or federal agencies. This is an exception to privacy guidelines in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.
Maloney was quoted in Wednesday's Star Tribune about the importance financial institutions play in protecting seniors from scams and fraud. "If we spot something that looks fishy, we can work with law enforcement to make sure that our members, and their money, are safe," she said. "We have the authority and the ability to act."
She told News Now that she sees how her employees watch over certain members and make sure they know the credit union is taking care of them.
Victims are not aware of the approaches that a con artist will take, Maloney said. Suspicious activities that tellers look out for include frequent large cash withdrawals, attempts to wire large sums of money, trepidation about discussing financial matters or a sudden change in who manages the member's account.