October 2-8 proclaimed as Senior$afe Week in Colorado

DENVER  — A proclamation signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper has declared the week of October 2-8 as Senior$afe Week in Colorado. Senior$afe Week will raise awareness of financial abuse and exploitation, and will reinforce the commitment to protecting seniors in our communities from financial crimes.

Senior$afe is a program spearheaded by three Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) divisions – the Division of Securities, the Division of Banking, and the Division of Financial Services.  First launched in June of 2016, Senior$afe’s primary initiative has been to provide training to financial professionals who work on the “front lines” with seniors on a regular basis. These professionals are more often able to spot potential red flags that indicate when fraud or exploitation of their customers and clients may be taking place.

“Research has shown that one in five elder adults in the United States is victimized by some form of financial fraud or exploitation,” said DORA Executive Director Joe Neguse. “This is a huge issue that requires commitment and creative solutions by many industries and community partners. The Senior$afe approach to educate a previously untapped population of witnesses and reporters -- our own licensees -- fits that bill.”

Senior$afe Week will also aim to educate consumers about risk factors associated with financial exploitation, and provide tools for prevention that can help greatly reduce a senior’s vulnerability to victimization. The social media hashtag #SeniorSafe will be used to promote these messages.

“Simply being made of aware of common financial frauds such as foreign lottery scams, phishing scams that aim to acquire personal financial information, and high-pressure cold call scams can greatly help seniors to refuse and report attempts to defraud them,” commented Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome. “Getting ahead of the problem through education is much more preferable than trying to recoup losses after the fact.”

This year’s Senior$afe Week will include daily consumer advisories, two financial industry trainings conducted at a Commerce City-based credit union, and collaboration between DORA, the Colorado Attorney General’s Stop Fraud Colorado campaign, and multiple states and Canadian territories that are also participating in the effort through the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

Senior$afe Week will also feature the launch of DORA’s new Senior Hotline which will provide resources to senior consumers with questions about DORA-regulated industries or financial exploitation and fraud concerns. The hotline can be reached at (720) 593-6720.

DORA’s Securities, Financial Services, and Banking divisions continue to accept requests for presentations and trainings at financial institutions and firms. Contact jillian.sarmo@state.co.us or call (303) 894-2878 if interested.

For more information on the Senior$afe initiative, visit the Ask DORA website.

View the proclamation.