WASHINGTON (3/1/10)--BITS, a financial service industry consortium, has released a new paper, entitled “Protecting the Elderly and Vulnerable from Financial Fraud and Exploitation." The paper addresses many means of financial abuse that specifically target older Americans, including exploitation of their finances by relatives, businesses, real or false financial institution employees, or other financial service providers. The paper advises credit unions and other financial institutions on potential enhancements to their internal training programs. The paper lists several red flags that financial institution support staff can look for to spot potentially risky situations, including changes in a customer or members account documentation, deposit or withdrawal patterns, and overall demeanor. Loss prevention and legal departments can also play a role in fraud prevention, as can local law enforcement, and the document also provides tips on how financial institutions can best interact with state and federal authorities to combat fraud. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is a member of BITS. To view the full document on CUNA's BITS page, use the resource link.