The Minnesota Credit Union Network hosted more than 50 representatives from in-state credit unions last week during a forum aimed at providing training to staff on identifying and reporting instances of elder financial abuse and fraud.
The credit union league said credit union staff are often the first to encounter, and therefore more likely to notice, instances of elder abuse, according to a league press release.
“Prevention is key for credit unions, due to the relationships you have [with your members],” former State Attorney General Hubert Humphrey said during the event. “I personally feel more comfortable dealing with a credit union. You’re a friend. You have that knowledge of what [your members] do, and that gives you the opportunity to spot unusual behavior and provide protection.”
The forum is part of state mandated elder financial abuse training. In April, Minnesota became the first state to require credit unions and banks to protect senior citizens from elder fraud and report inconsistencies to local law enforcement officials.
The forum included panel discussion among experts on how to communicate with individuals suspected of being defrauded, how to report abuse and the process after filing an abuse report.
Experts included Shane Deal, the deputy commissioner of financial institutions for the Minnesota Department of Commerce; Jay Haapla, the associate state director of AARP Minnesota and head of the state’s Fraud Watch Network; Sean Burke, a member of the Minnesota Elder Justice Center’s steering committee member; and Mary McGurran, an agency policy specialist for the state Department of Human Services’ Adult Protective Services unit.
“Minnesota credit unions are proud to partner with these organizations to help prevent elder financial fraud,” Minnesota Credit Union Network Vice President of Governmental Affairs Mara Humphrey said. “Looking out for the best interests of our members is a large part of the credit union mission, and we will continue to help protect them from fraudulent activities.”