Steps to take if you suspect elder financial abuse
- Notify your institution’s point person to report the suspected financial abuse using the Elder Abuse Hotline (1-800-922-2275) or online platform.
- If it’s an emergency, and the customer is in immediate physical or financial danger, follow your institution’s emergency reporting policy.
Consumer privacy when reporting elder abuse
Your financial institution can legally report elder financial abuse concerns without breaking confidentiality. While your financial institution is likely to identify financial exploitation, you are not precluded from reporting other concerns about older consumers. Reports of elder abuse can be made to the statewide Elder Abuse Hotline (1-800-922-2275).
Immunity when reporting elder financial abuse
Massachusetts law grants immunity from any charges resulting from reporting elder abuse, as long as you did not commit the abuse. If you make a report in good faith, you have the same immunity, and your identity remains confidential.
Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filing and elder abuse
SARs are another tool for your financial institution to report elder financial abuse. SAR forms have a special category for “elder financial exploitation.” The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requires SAR filing when mandatory BSA requirements are present. You should consider voluntarily filing SARs in cases of elder financial abuse. The SAR filing should include problem resolution, such as whether you plan to report or have reported the abuse, and your institution's follow up steps.