Galvin: Banks need to help fight scams aimed at the elderly

Seniors are sometimes too embarrassed to report thefts.

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BOSTON (AP) — Secretary of State William Galvin is urging banks and credit unions in Massachusetts to make sure their workers are trained to recognize signs of financial exploitation of the elderly.

In a letter sent to 190 banking institutions in Massachusetts in the past week, Galvin said those workers can be a first line of defense.

He pointed to the case of a senior citizen who was persuaded to obtain $60,000 in bank checks in response to telephone calls telling her the checks were needed to collect sweepstakes prize money.

Galvin said his office worked with the FBI to resolve that case.

He said seniors are often particularly vulnerable because they have nest eggs that can be targeted by scammers.

He also said seniors are sometimes too embarrassed to report thefts.

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