OVB joins ABA’s Safe Banking for Seniors

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Ohio Valley Bank is once again participating in the American Bankers Association’s Safe Banking for Seniors program.

Safe Banking for Seniors is a campaign designed to educate senior citizens on financial issues that impact them, such as identity theft. The program focuses on identifying common scams that target senior citizens as well as provides information for financial caregivers. According to the ABA, senior citizens lose approximately $2.9 billion to fraud annually, but it is suspected that number is drastically underestimated as only one in 44 seniors report financial abuse. Safe Banking for Seniors was created as an effort to combat this growing issue.

OVB has taken part in Safe Banking for Seniors for several years. While the program is typically offered in-person, due to pandemic plans are in place for virtual presentations from live to pre-recorded formats. According to Hope Roush, OVB financial literacy leader, corporate communications, while Safe Banking for Seniors is primarily geared toward senior citizens, the program’s lessons are educational for all ages.

“Safe Banking for Seniors is a very detailed campaign. From lessons on identity theft to recognizing common scams and how to prevent them, the program is very informative for not only seniors, but all age groups as many of the issues discussed can impact anyone,” Roush said. “Our senior citizens are more vulnerable to many financial scams, which is why the ABA created this campaign. With the pandemic, our senior population is even more vulnerable to these financial crimes. I hope that through this program the bank can continue to help seniors in our community combat these problems.”

The program also added new modules for 2021, including Understanding Powers of Attorney and Choosing an Executor. Other modules include the following topics: Identifying and Avoiding Scams; Preventing Identity Theft; Choosing a Financial Caregiver; and Acting as a Financial Caregiver.

Safe Banking for Seniors encourages both seniors and their financial caregivers to follow these important tips as an effort to protect themselves from fraud:

  • Know the warning signs of scams. Scammers are always thinking of new ways to steal information from everyone, and senior citizens are often a target. Knowing the red flags of scams is vital to protecting financial information. Paying fees or taxes for sweepstakes or lottery “winnings”; acting immediately on an offer; or insisting on secrecy are some red flags. When in doubt, contact your local OVB branch, talk to a trusted advisor, family member or friend.
  • Protect your financial identity. Scammers are often interested in stealing financial identities to open new credit cards or loans in seniors’ names. To protect against this activity, shred receipts, bank statements and unused credit card offers before throwing them away. Also, never give out personal information, including Social Security number, account number or other financial information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call and the other party is trusted.
  • Choose a responsible financial caregiver. Unfortunately, sometimes family members and friends can also take advantage of seniors and leave them in financial ruin. It is important to plan early who will fill this trusted role before you are no longer able to manage finances on your own.

Additional tips are available in the Consumer Resources section at www.aba.com/Seniors.

To schedule a virtual presentation for your organization or group, contact Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com or 740-578-3452.

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