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ELDERS: Beware abuse from banks

| June 16, 2010 10:00 PM

Regarding the elder abuse story (Press, Jun3 10), my 83-year-old father was a victim of elder abuse and financial exploitation from a friend and a relative. But what surprised me most was how much a part his bank in a Nevada city played in the financial exploitation. 

My father has been blessed with a decent retirement pension which was automatically deposited into his bank each month for many years. He was never overdrawn and had a sizable balance at the end of each month. When ATM withdrawals started to show up every day and his account became overdrawn the bank just charged overdraft fees and allowed money that was not there to be withdrawn. 

When I asked the manager at my father's bank why this was allowed to happen, she said because my father had been a customer for many years and they knew his pension would be there at the first of each month. She said personnel at the bank had tried to call my father about the overdrawn account several times but got no answer. Shouldn't that bring up a red flag? If the bank had stopped allowing ATM withdrawals after the first maximum daily withdrawal was taken, instead of allowing hundreds of dollars to be withdrawn each day, my father might not be so deeply in debt now. 

My point in this letter is not only do we need to watch out for close friends and family members, but the financial institutions in which the elderly entrust their hard-earned pensions.

LINDA LAVOIE

Athol

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