WASHINGTON—Today, AARP announced the 140 banks, credit unions and financial advisory firms that qualified for a seal from AARP recognizing the steps they’ve taken to curb financial exploitation.
These 140 organizations represent a more than 20% increase in the number of seal recipients since 2022. A list of the financial organizations that qualified for the 2023 BankSafe Trained Seal can be found at aarp.org/banksafe.
Based on a Virginia Tech study from October 2019, it is estimated that BankSafe-trained employees have helped prevent more than $200 million from being stolen from the accounts of older adults. Currently, BankSafe-trained employees are better protecting more than 155 million customers, members and clients throughout the U.S.
“These financial organizations are taking meaningful action to equip their staff with the tools to spot and prevent exploitation before money ever leaves an account,” said Jilenne Gunther, National Director of AARP’s BankSafe Initiative. “With the rise in instances of exploitation since the pandemic, BankSafe Trained Seal recipients can use their knowledge and confidence to protect the hard-earned assets of older adults, just as one BankSafe-trained employee did when she spotted red flags and stopped a customer from wiring nearly $30,000 to a criminal.”
To qualify for the seal, financial organizations trained more than 80% of their frontline staff on AARP’s award-winning BankSafe training and intervention platform and actively implemented a policy to report suspected financial exploitation. They were confirmed by AARP to be in good standing based on a review of Better Business Bureau ratings as well as legal and regulatory activity.
The rate of financial exploitation targeting older adults has more than doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an October 2022 AARP report. The report underscores the critical role of financial organizations to implement resources and policies that allow employees to spot the red flags of exploitation and intervene.
In response to perpetrators’ changing tactics and financial organizations’ feedback, AARP upgraded its BankSafe training courses. The training upgrades feature new live-action scenarios, gamified elements and animated videos to keep employees apprised of the most relevant red flags, exploitation methods and intervention tactics.
The BankSafe Trained Seal is not a product or service endorsement but indicates that a financial institution’s frontline employees have been substantially trained in financial exploitation prevention. Training courses are available at no cost to banks, credit unions, financial advisors and retailers in the United States.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.