WASHINGTON (June 15, 2016) — In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) today announced that it has designated October 2-8 as “Senior$afe Training Week” and is encouraging its members to use the NASAA version of Senior$afe for broker-dealers and investment advisers to help identify and report suspected cases of elder financial exploitation.

“Senior$afe is an important resource in the fight against elder financial exploitation,” said NASAA President and Maine Securities Administrator Judith Shaw. “This battle is a top priority for NASAA not just on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, but every day.”

The Senior$afe training program was created in Maine for use by banks and credit unions in order to increase identification and reporting of suspected cases of elder financial exploitation. NASAA collaborated with the Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention to rework the program to make it available for broker-dealers and investment advisers as well as bank and credit unions.

“The key to the success of the program is raising awareness of the red flags of suspected elder financial exploitation and establishing a protocol for reporting those suspicions,” Shaw said. “Senior$afe uses a ‘no wrong door approach,’ so no matter which agency a report goes to, there is a commitment to make sure the report gets into the hands of the correct agency or community resource.”

Shaw said elder financial abuse is an ever growing problem due to a combination of factors, including the amount of wealth seniors have accumulated throughout their careers, the steadily rising number of retirees and their increasing social isolation.

“Combating senior financial exploitation requires a holistic, community solution,” Shaw said. “We need as many ears and eyes as possible listening and watching for signs of suspected elder financial exploitation.”

Shaw said Senior$afe trainings are being planned in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. A calendar of all Senior$afe trainings is available on NASAA’s Serve Our Seniors website (serveourseniors.org).

NASAA is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. Its membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the provinces and territories of Canada, and Mexico.

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Bob Webster | Director of Communications