Rep. Bolinsky Hails Governor Lamont Signing Banking Bill to Protect Seniors From Financial Abuse

Posted on August 4, 2023


CHESHIRE- State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) joined Governor Ned Lamont along with leadership of the legislature’s Banking and Aging Committees attended a ceremonial bill signing to celebrate and inform constituents about new and enhanced Connecticut protections aimed squarely at protecting our state’s Seniors from the threat of financial exploitation.

The legislation, PA 23-161 provides a new, proactive set of protections for Seniors by establishing new guidelines that will engage and empower their banking and financial-services providers to disclose to them or their named “trusted agent”, such as a chosen, verified family member or estate manager to whom suspicious, out-of-the-ordinary financial activity will be disclosed.  This way, within the construct of the law, their authorized broker-dealer, investment advisor, financial institution, and probate court administrator may flag unusual activity and execute a temporary account-hold to prevent the financial exploitation of state residents aged 60 or older.  The new law will be initiated on an “opt-in” basis.

Rep. Bolinsky, a strong supporter, and introducer of earlier bills on financial exploitation of Seniors said, “This is a terrific piece of legislation!  Think of it as an “early-warning system” protect Seniors from fraudsters.  I am so grateful to our partners on the Banking and judiciary Committees for their getting these critical protections into statute.  We in the Aging Committee have been pushing for this higher level of protection for more than five-years and could not have done this without their expertise and so many good people working together.  It was very kind of Governor Lamont credit the Aging and Banking committees as his favorites because of our mutual dedication to the people we serve, and the bipartisan ways both committees’ work.”

Bolinsky concluded, “Seniors are among the most targeted groups for increasingly bold and devious by the day. Also, our “Greatest Generation” tend to be among the most caring and trusting individuals we meet, probably because they grew up with a profound sense of the “Golden Rule”, at times when personal relationships, handshakes, and one’s word the meant something more.  When we consider the newest threat, the abuse of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which enables crooks to simulate images and voices of a potential victim’s loved ones, and mine their personal information, these protections stand out as even more essential.”

According to the Department of Banking, the number of suspicious activity reports filed by banks concerning elder financial exploitation between 2013 and 2017, quadrupled. Also, more than 1 in 10 elderly people in the US fell victim to elder fraud in the last year.

In Connecticut, over five-hundred thousand (500,000) residents are 65 and older. Banks on a nationwide basis are reporting a steadily increasing level of financial exploitation of their elderly customers, that without this bill, they can do little to stop.