BancorpSouth, Retiree Attraction partner to offer seniors a financial protection seminar

Published 4:44 pm Wednesday, October 13, 2021

BancorpSouth and Retiree Attraction partner to bring senior citizens of Lafayette County and Oxford the Financial Protection for Seniors seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. in the North East Mississippi Power Association Auditorium.

The two-hour class addresses the vulnerability of senior citizens who often become targets of fraud and provides invaluable knowledge on how to maintain their finances. Light refreshments will be served to attendees.

“So many calls, and or emails are sent out in hopes of getting them to respond,” said Rosie Vassallo, director of Retiree Action. “Not being sure if the call or email is legitimate, they fall for it giving out personal information. This is where this seminar will become valuable. Teaching one how someone can trick you into handing over money or personal information, like a password, bank account information or their social security number.”

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The class usually takes place during Elder Protection Awareness Day in June but officials decided to host it this October due to COVID-19 complications in the summer. Guests can look forward to lectures and discussions about common scams that target elders, protecting bank accounts against fraud and identity theft, protecting your assets against fraud and estate planning.

Guest speakers will be Attorney Al Cutterini of North Mississippi Rural Legal and director of NMRL’s Elder Law Project and BancorpSouth Market President Randy Leister. Cutterini will advise seniors on legal aspects of having a will, advance healthcare directives, powers of attorney and elder abuse.

According to Leister, in many cases of elder abuse, close family members are the perpetrator. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that out of elder abuse perpetrators, family members (54%) and care workers (31%) were the more frequent offenders.

Elders are vulnerable because they usually have the most money saved, they tend to be more giving and they are not as technologically savvy as younger generations, said Leister.

Email and phone scams are common but the older generation may not be aware that the scams could lead to computer viruses or financial threats, but Leister advises seniors to exercise caution in those cases.

“If you don’t know who that is, then don’t open it,” said Leister.

Although the seminar is marketed to senior citizens, BancorpSouth and Retiree Attraction welcome people of all ages who may want to attend for an older family member or to use the information to guard themselves.

Oxford has seen its share of trouble from scam calls to puppy scams to card skimmers at gas station pumps. Anyone could be a potential victim.

“Although this is geared towards older adults, this kind of stuff happens to everybody,” said Leister. “No age group or socioeconomic level matters, everybody’s affected by these types of things.”

Leister advises the public to regularly check their bank accounts, checking and savings, so that if your account is compromised, you will know immediately.

For more information about BancorpSouth and Retiree Attraction’s Financial Protection for Seniors seminar, contact 662-281-3774.