The “Senior Safe Act” was signed into law by President Trump in May of 2018. The relatively new law is part of a bigger bill that affects the way credit unions, community banks, and regional banks can report potential signs of financial fraud. It provides immunities that enable financial institutions to maintain bank privacy laws while granting them the ability to report situations where fraud is suspected.

In order for a financial company to qualify for these immunities, it must complete designated training for its employees.  This training is designed to help banking professionals better detect the signs of fraud. It also provides them with the tools to know what to do when senior financial exploitation is discovered.

For example, if an individual working within the bank chooses to disclose information about suspected fraud, that person is not liable under bank privacy laws. The person who discloses the information must be employed by the covered institution when the suspected activity is reported. Additionally, the individual needs to have previously received the training for identification and reporting of elder financial fraud. Finally, it is necessary that the disclosure is made with care and in good faith.

Motivating People to Act

This law doesn’t mandate that financial abuse be reported. Instead, the goal is to motivate people to report suspicious activities without fear of personal liability. Many states already have similar laws in place, but this federal law helps to improve the practices across the nation. The goal is to make the reporting of financial abuse more commonplace. This in turn should help in the fight to protect seniors who are targeted by scammers.

Older generations are increasingly becoming victims of financial elder abuse. That why it’s positive that many organizations and government agencies are working closer together to provide additional layers of safety for those most vulnerable.

To review the full text for this new law, look at Section 303 in the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.” Feel free to contact our team any time if you have questions about reducing the risk of elder abuse. Email or call 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.

This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal advice.