SECU Expertise Tweaked New Senior Financial Abuse Law
On July 29, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed the Financial Exploitation of Older Adults bill, which requires all financial institutions to report when they suspect someone 65 or older, or a disabled adult over 18, is being financially exploited. It also protects the liability of those making the good faith report. Financial institutions may also ask members or customers to provide a list of trusted persons who could be contacted if fraud is suspected.
The legislation, which passed both the Senate and House unanimously, was supported by SECU, the North Carolina Credit Union League, the North Carolina Attorney General’s office, the North Carolina Bankers Association and others. It takes effect Dec. 1.
Lauren Waley, the NCCUL’s director of legislative and regulatory affairs, said over the past couple years there have been a number of attention-grabbing headlines about seniors getting scammed, in some cases involving millions of dollars. Joint account holders are sometimes found to be the perpetrators.
“It may be a family member or a caregiver who comes into the branch with them,” Waley said. “The older person may not be comfortable making such a large withdrawal but they’re feeling pressure. You see from the expression on the member’s face that this may not be right. The law now puts a sense of liability on law enforcement to follow up with these things.”