Staying Safe and Savvy: CBA launch free protection guide

YOU don't have to be a Commonwealth Bank customer to take advantage of the newest and free guide on protecting yourself from financial elder abuse.

The guide is available on the bank's new page - www.commbank.com.au/safeandsavvy - and copies are available in branches.

CBA customers will be reminded regularly about the availability of the guide with all of the bank's ATM's to carry a promotional message about it from today.

Older Australians are more often affected by financial abuse. It's a problem that isn't going to go away any time soon as more Australians fall victim to financial abuse in the future, with those aged over 65 set to account for 25 per cent of the population by 2050.

CBA customer advocate Brendan French said greater action is needed now to protect older Australians from financial abuse, scams and fraud. "Elder financial abuse is devastating in its impact and can happen to anyone," Dr French said.

"Banks must play a central role in raising awareness of the issue and helping to protect customers from financial abuse, scams and fraud. The Safe and Savvy program will improve the skills of our employees to identify elder financial abuse and provide practical advice on tips and traps to older customers and their families.

"Training will soon be rolled out to our teams in nearly 1000 branches nationwide so they can recognise and report signs of elder abuse, and I'd encourage customers to visit their local branch and learn how they can protect themselves. A detailed Safe and Savvy guide will be available for customers online in the coming week and in all of our branches from July."

Dr Kay Patterson AO, Age Discrimination Commissioner, who advised the bank on the development of the guide, said she hoped the Safe and Savvy initiative would lead to greater awareness of the issue among older Australians. "Certain groups are more susceptible to falling victim to elder abuse, particularly those who are socially isolated and reliant on others for care, and CBA's launch of this program is a step in the right direction," Dr Patterson said.

"The program is an important measure for the banking industry in educating the community on the warning signs and ways older Australians can protect themselves from financial abuse."

The guide includes the following information -

Part 1 - Spotting elder financial abuse

  • Learn what is it, and how it might affect you and your family

Part 2 - Design your support team

  • Create a support network from a range of different people and professions
  • Choose the right people to make decisions about your money and information 6

Part 3 - Bullet-proofing against scams & frauds

  • Learn how to avoid the most common types of frauds and scams
  • Understand how frauds and scams can affect you

Part 4 - Warning signs of elder financial abuse

  • Learn how to detect the warning signs of financial abuse
  • Assess the risk and get some support if you are affected

Part 5 - Advice & support for carers

  • Understand the rights, responsibilities and support services for carers

Part 6 - Where can I go for help?

  • Discover where to find additional information and relevant support services near you.

The guide is available on the CBA website - www.commbank.com.au/safeandsavvy.


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