What is KEEP-SAFE Coalition?
The KEEP-SAFE Coalition is a I.R.C. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the Los Angeles South Bay. Established in 2000 with volunteers from social services, law enforcement, and financial institutions, our mission is to heighten awareness and help community members recognize, prevent and stop elder financial abuse. We do this through community programs and law enforcement education.
KEEP-SAFE stands for Keep Every Elder Protected – Stop Abuse and Financial Exploitation.
We, at KEEP-SAFE Coalition, believe that prevention through awareness education is the greatest deterrent to the proliferation of these types of crimes. KEEP-SAFE Coalition develops free community education programs that raise public awareness and helps prevent elder financial abuse.
What Is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse or exploitation is the illegal or improper use of another individual’s resources for personal profit or gain. Also referred to as fiduciary abuse, elderly abuse, economic abuse or financial mistreatment, it encompasses a broad range of conduct, and may include:
- theft of money, property or identity
- failure to provide agreed upon services
- refusal to return borrowed money or property
- exercise of undue influence
Statistics suggest that approximately 65,000 reported incidents of financial exploitation occur each year in California. It is estimated that many additional cases are never reported because the victim is embarrassed, fearful of reprisal or still dependent on the abuser.
Why Was KEEP-SAFE Created?
Elders in our community are subjected to telemarketing scams, investment fraud, con artists and other forms of elder financial abuse that strip them of their assets and financial security. They can be exploited by family members, caregivers, friends and strangers.
Seniors are often unaware of these dangers. Social services, law enforcement and financial institutions need to be prepared to deal with these situations. Education and training are the keys to a safer future.