FAST Teams: A New Approach to Addressing Elder Financial Abuse
Scam artists, fraudulent telemarketers, and even family members have become more sophisticated in targeting and defrauding seniors of more than $2.5 billion annually. Both Massachusetts and Springwell are at the forefront of developing innovative ways to respond to the complicated problem of financial abuse of seniors.
Springwell is the lead agency for the greater Boston Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST). A special commission created by the legislature developed the idea of these teams to improve the Elder Protective Services Program in Massachusetts. FAST will consist of volunteer experts from legal and financial services as well as social service and law enforcement. They will provide targeted guidance and consultation to regional Protective Services workers on difficult financial exploitation cases and assist them in understanding account statements and transactions as well as financial products and legal instruments.
Springwell’s Protective Services Manager, April Evans, who will chair the FAST Team, has seen first-hand the benefits of having access to the expertise the Team can offer. “We’re experts in protective services, not high finance. The insight of a financial expert can help us understand the details of the abuse so that we can put an appropriate plan in place.”
The greater Boston FAST team expects to be up and running by the fall, and is recruiting volunteers with the necessary expertise in finance and law. Volunteers will receive special training, will meet quarterly, and should be occasionally available for emergency case consultations by phone. If you or someone you know might be interested in learning more, please contact Springwell’s Protective Services Program Manager, April Evans, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.