Financial seminar focuses on seniors

Published 12:00 pm Monday, May 30, 2016

By Ana Martinez

Have you ever worried that you or a loved one could become a victim of financial abuse?

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If so, then the Financial Protection for Senior Adults seminar will be an opportunity to gather more information on the topic and learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

The seminar will be held at the Oxford Conference Center on June 9 at 3 p.m. The event is hosted by BancorpSouth and will include guest speakers, door prizes and a light dinner following the seminar. People who want to attend can RSVP at

“With Oxford-Lafayette County being one of the best places to retire in America we take protecting our retirees/seniors very seriously,” said Rosie Vassallo, administrative assistant Retiree Attraction Program director. “They’ve all worked hard to get ready for retirement. So, the last thing in the world they want is to lose even a portion of what they’ve saved. We encourage them to attend this invaluable seminar and become aware of the scams and fraudsters out there.”

BancorpSouth and the city of Oxford have agreed to partner together to put together the seminar with hopes to educate the elderly and their families on financial abuse. Many people don’t even know if they’ve been or are about to be financially abused until it is too late.

“The elderly are more likely to become victims of financial abuse because they are unaware of how easy it is for someone to get their information from a smartphone or a sweepstakes,” said Randy Leister, the marketing president for BancorpSouth.

“I’m excited to have guest speakers, such as detective Chris Case and Buffy Murphy to come in to educate, not just the elderly, but also family members on ways to keep financial abuse from happening.”

Those at risk for financial abuse are the elderly that live alone, have mental or physical disabilities, and those that demonstrate lack of familiarity with financial matters. These signs alone are what makes the elderly more likely to become victims of financial abuse and they can happen from the people they would least likely to suspect. The city of Oxford and BancorpSouth are hoping that the seminar will help prevent more financial abuse from happening.

“Seniors usually have excellent credit which makes them an attractive target,” Vassallo said. “In addition, many retirees worry about the adequacy of their retirement savings, or ways of staying younger that they fall into believing a hoax. Fraudsters know how to pitch their schemes. It’s important for one to ask questions, never judge a person’s integrity by how he or she sounds or dresses, which may lead to accepting their advice.”