More Protection Against Elder Fraud: Onsite Coverage
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Kai Stinchcombe, CEO of True Link, a San Francisco-based startup with a new way to protect seniors against elder fraud, told Wednesday’s Finovate audience he had a personal reason for starting the company.
His own grandmother had been repeatedly victimized by scams such as bogus charities and unneeded magazine subscriptions, and was draining about one-third of her monthly income.
“My mom cried, thinking about taking away her mother’s credit cards,” Stinchcombe said.
The pressures intensify, Stinchcombe said, because as the senior population increases, so do the criminals who prey on them.
His solution was True Link, a debit card that acts like a credit card, but it can be set up to block specific merchants and entire categories of suspicious transactions.
True Link also created its own database of bogus merchants who specialize in scamming seniors.
“In one click we can solve this problem for my mom and her mother,” Stinchcombe said.
True Link charges $10 per month for the debit card.
Stinchcombe said he had initially planned to seek distribution partnerships with banks, but that thinking has changed because, he said, he now believes many banks would seek to “make too much money” selling True Link protection to vulnerable families.
But, he insisted, “I have a sweet spot for credit unions.”
He added that because credit unions put member interests first, he believed there would be ways True Link could easily work with them.