Senior$afe Program Recruits Professionals to Help Fight Financial Abuse of Colorado Elders

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is offering a new training program that aims to educate investment advisers, broker-dealers, and financial institutions in Colorado on how to recognize the warning signs of financial exploitation of the senior population. 
 
Vulnerability to financial exploitation increases with age and Colorado’s senior population is growing: approximately 10,000 people a day in the United States. Many financial representatives have closer relationships with their clients and customers, and time is of the essence when fighting financial exploitation of seniors.
 
Enter Senior$afe. Senior$afe is a three-part program designed to educate financial representatives that are best positioned to identify red flags of abuse or exploitation early on and encourage reporting to state and federal agencies, including the Division of Securities at DORA and Adult Protective Services.
    
The training, which will be conducted statewide for financial firms and institutions, is a combined effort of DORA’s Securities, Banking, and Financial Services divisions. It involves recognizing and reporting the red flags of potential elder financial exploitation, such as sudden large withdrawals or uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money.
 
Senior$afe also emphasizes a “no wrong door approach,” so that no matter which agency the report goes to (a DORA financial division, Adult Protective Services, or a law enforcement agency), there is a commitment to make sure the report gets into the hands of the correct agency or community resource.
 
Senior$afe was originally created by the Maine Office of Securities, for use by banks and credit unions, in order to increase identification and reporting of suspected cases of elder financial exploitation. The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which the Division of Securities is a member, has collaborated with the Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention to introduce the Senior$afe program for use with other members of the financial services industry.
 
For more information regarding the Senior$afe initiative or to request a presentation at your firm or institution, contact DORA by calling Jillian Sarmo at (303) 894-2878 or via email at jillian.sarmo@state.co.us


You can also learn more about DORA with this recent podcast from Connect & Collaborate on May 31, 2016.  We talk with Rebecca Laurie from DORA, who introduces us to Patty Salazar, Financial Services Commissioner. We discuss her role and the role of the Division of Financial Services to protect consumers through regulation and supervision of state-chartered Credit Unions and Savings and Loan Associations as well as some of the financial activities of life care institutions.

We also discuss World Elder Abuse Awareness day on June 15 and share strategies for protecting elderly friends and family from financial predators. 

Listen to the podcast to learn more about services available and how the Division of Financial Services can assist you.