Elder Abuse - Help Protect Yourself & Loved Ones

According to the National Council on Aging, financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they are considered the crime of the 21st century. They estimate $2.9 billion - $36.5 billion is lost annually, which is why we are so passionate about educating the community and helping to reduce the instances of local elder abuse. By giving local residents the tools and information to protect themselves from these scams, we are empowering more people in the community to stand up to elder abuse.

Montecito Bank & Trust developed an award-winning prevention program, designed to prevent Senior Abuse and Financial Exploitation (SAFE). This program, comprised of internal training, in-branch workshops, Fraud Defense brochures and social media tips, provides a dose of knowledge, safety and comfort to the local communities.

  • 2016 National Community Commitment Award, from the American Bankers Association Foundation

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Common Scams

Fundraising & Charity Scams

Have you been asked to donate to a charity by wiring money, buying a prepaid debit card or paying a courier? Consider checking out the charity online first at www.charitywatch.org or www.charitynavigator.org.

Imposter / Grandparent Scams

Have you been asked to wire or send money to someone who contacted you via email or telephone? Have they asked for the money to be sent via green dot MoneyPak®, Money Gram, or Western Union? The request might seem to come from law enforcement, the IRS or another government official threatening legal action, but no government agency will ever ask you to wire money. The request might also seem to be coming from someone you know – your grandchild, relative or friend.

Email Requests for Money

Have you been asked to wire, send or ship money to a large U.S. city or overseas (such as Canada, Asia or Nigeria) to someone who asks you via email? Be suspicious of email requests pressuring you to take action quickly, even if it appears to be coming from a friend or family member. It’s possible their email has been hacked and you’re sending money to a crook.

Sweepstakes and Lotteries

Have you recently been informed that you won a sweepstakes or a lottery that you don’t remember entering, and were asked to wire money to collect the prize? Never pay to claim a prize for a contest you didn’t enter!