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Raises Awareness of Elder Financial Abuse

January 24, 2018

As part of its mission to educate and assist Connecticut consumers and industry professionals, the Department of Banking offered an important training today for branch managers at American Eagle Financial Credit Union.  The program, called Senior$afe, was designed to educate financial professionals on how to recognize the warning signs of financial exploitation of the senior population.
“Vulnerability to financial exploitation is a serious issue and Connecticut’s seniors are often targeted,” said Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez. “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030 nearly 26 percent of Connecticut’s population will be 60 years and older.  Many financial representatives, including credit union staff, have close relationships with their members and customers and time is of the essence when fighting senior financial exploitation. Senior$afe is one way to protect our growing senior population in regards to this type of financial abuse.”

“Keeping seniors safe is a top priority for American Eagle FCU. And the best way to defeat fraudsters is through education, awareness, and vigilance,” said President & CEO Dean Marchessault. “The training for our team offered through the State of Connecticut’s Department of banking is key to reinforcing the security for our members, especially the more vulnerable groups, so they can feel confident when doing business with us.”

Credit union and bank personnel are in a unique position to spot red flags of abuse early on and encourage reporting to appropriate state and federal agencies, including Protective Services for the Elderly.  The training involves recognizing and reporting the red flags of potential elder financial exploitation, such as the appearance of undue influence by a new individual, or uncharacteristic large withdrawals.

“Protecting seniors and their families against financial fraud is a chief concern for us here in Connecticut.  It is reassuring to see the Department of Banking and financial institutions working together voluntarily to help provide those protections and we need to stay diligent in our efforts to stop fraud in its tracks,” said Nora Duncan, AARP Connecticut State Director.

Senior$afe uses a “no wrong door approach,” so that no matter which agency the report goes to, there is a commitment to make sure the report gets into the hands of the correct agency or community resource.  For more information on Senior$afe trainings visit or contact the Department of Banking, at 1-800-831-7225.


American Eagle Financial Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative headquartered in East Hartford, Connecticut. It is the largest community credit union in Connecticut with 13 community offices, 130,000 members, and $1.6 billion in assets. The Credit Union offers banking services to everyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school and businesses in Hartford, Middlesex, New Haven, and Tolland counties. The Credit Union was founded in 1935 by employees of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. Member deposits are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. government agency.

Senior$afe was originally created by the Maine Office of Securities, for use by banks and credit unions, in order to increase identification and reporting of suspected cases of elder financial exploitation.  The program is now being offered by state securities regulators, including the Department of Banking, to train investment professionals and members of the financial services industry.