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February 22, 2011
CONTACT: Bill Grassano

FinCEN Advisory Warns of Elder Financial Exploitation

VIENNA, Va. - The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network today released a new advisory to help financial institutions spot and report on activities involving elder financial exploitation. The advisory, Advisory to Financial Institutions on Filing Suspicious Activity Reports Regarding Elder Financial Exploitation, contains red flags, or indicators that abuse may be occurring and specifically asks financial institutions to include the term "Elder Financial Exploitation" on filings of suspicious activity reports (SARs).

"Financial institutions care about their customers and in some cases may be uniquely placed to identify when customers are possible victims of elder financial exploitation," said James H. Freis, Jr., FinCEN Director. "Elder abuse in any form is intolerable. Working with feedback from financial institutions, FinCEN developed this new red flags tool as a way for depository institutions in particular to combat elder financial exploitation."

FinCEN requests that financial institutions select the appropriate characterization of suspicious activity in the Suspicious Activity Information section of the SAR form and include the term "elder financial exploitation" in the narrative portion of all relevant SARs filed. Explicit mention of a particular term in the SAR greatly assists investigators in quickly identifying possible illicit activity.

The red flags noted in the advisory include both activity that may come to bank personnel attention through monitoring transaction activity and through interactions with customers or their caregivers:

The advisory contains a more complete listing of various indicators of elder financial exploitation.

This reporting is meant to complement financial institutions' existing policies and procedures on reporting suspected elder financial exploitation to local and state authorities, to aid in the detection and deterrence by appropriate government authorities of criminal activities.


F inCEN's mission is to enhance U.S. national security, deter and detect criminal activity, and safeguard financial systems from abuse by promoting transparency in the U.S. and international financial systems.