FinCEN Issues Financial Trend Analysis on Elder Exploitation

On April 18th, FinCEN released a Financial Trend Analysis focused on Elder Financial Exploitation (EFE). Based on Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed between June 15, 2022, and June 15, 2023, EFE resulted in 155,000 SARs filed and involved roughly $27 billion.

The SARs predominantly fell into one of two categories: 1) scams involving an unknown perpetrator; and 2) theft where the perpetrator is known to the victim. Some of the key takeaways include:

  • Financial Institutions Filed More Elder Scam-Related BSA Filings than Elder Theft-Related BSA Filings

80% of the EFE SAR activity was scam related. The Analysis points out; however, that scams aren’t necessarily more prevalent than theft, it’s just that elder theft is often undetected and underreported.

  • Account Takeover is the Most Frequently Cited EFE Typology

This activity was noted in the majority of EFE SAR filings related to scams.

  • Adult Children are the Most Frequent Elder Theft-Related Perpetrators

In around 40% of the EFE SAR filings, the victim’s adult children were the perpetrators.

  • Reliance on Unsophisticated Methodologies and Avoiding Human Contact

Perpetrators often attempt to steal funds in ways that reduce direct contact with financial institution employees. This might include spam emails requesting sensitive information, obtaining, or guessing passwords, using previously compromised information, etc.

It seems like we are hearing about a LOT more fraud these days and, whether directed at the elderly or not, and financial institutions are in a unique position to detect such activity. Appendix A of the Analysis gives a good summary of the most prominent scams that have been reported. There are 15 in total and, again, these are just the most prominent. This list might be good to review with your personnel. We also have a webinar, “Elder Financial Exploitation”, which is available now OnDemand.

BSA Resources!


Amy Kudlacek

Amy brings many years of banking and compliance experience to Banker’s Compliance Consulting. She has worked for both large and small financial institutions and spent time working in every area of a bank. She started out as a teller in college and eventually became a branch manager. Her love, however, was always compliance. Amy began her career with Banker’s Compliance Consulting in 2000. Her knowledge and experiences have allowed her to develop a well-rounded and practical approach to regulatory compliance. Amy is CRCM certified, has a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and is a graduate of the ABA Compliance School. Amy & her husband have two children at home and stay busy following their activities. They spend a lot of time in the bleachers!

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