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AG Nessel Warns Seniors Against Financial Exploitation After FinCEN Analysis

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reiterating her warnings about exploitation after an analysis from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) revealed financial institutions reported roughly $27 billion in suspicious activity related to elder financial exploitation during a one-year period from 2022 to 2023. 

In its financial trend analysis (PDF), FinCEN identified two predominant categories of reported victimization: elder scams, where the victim does not know the perpetrator, and elder theft, where the victim knows the perpetrator. 

“While alarming, these findings reiterate the need for a group of experts like the Elder Abuse Task Force to ensure our elderly and vulnerable populations are protected from exploitation,” Nessel said. “My office will continue holding those who take advantage of some of our most vulnerable accountable.” 

“Michigan’s credit unions are working hard to ensure that our members are protected from predatory scams and abuse,” said Patty Corkery, President/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates. “We are proud to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement and the Office of the Attorney General to educate the vulnerable members we serve and to continue to train our teams to detect and report suspected criminal behavior affecting these targeted populations.” 

“Banks play a crucial role in safeguarding vulnerable individuals from fin­­­ancial exploitation, often without the victims even realizing they are being targeted,” remarked Rann Paynter, President and CEO of the Michigan Bankers Association. “In light of FinCEN's findings, it's clear that banks are not merely financial entities; they are guardians of trust and security for their customers. We remain grateful for the vital role banks play in identifying, preventing, and reporting suspected instances of elder financial abuse.” 

Michigan's Elder Abuse Task Force launched in 2019 and consists of more than 55 different organizations and more than 100 individuals in the public, private and nonprofit sections - all working together to combat elder abuse.  

Achievements include the adoption of a Vulnerable Adult Incident Report form (PDF) for investigation by law enforcement across the state, including the implementation of related trainings. Additionally, the Financial Exploitation Prevention Act was signed into law in 2021 to ensure mandated reporting for financial institutions on suspected fraud or exploitation. Both were part of the Task Force’s first set of initiatives (PDF).    

It is estimated that more than 100,000 older adults in Michigan are victims of elder abuse, and that less than half of all instances are reported to authorities. Michigan residents seeking elder abuse resources are encouraged to call 800-24-ABUSE (22873), or 855-444-3911 to report suspected elder abuse.


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