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Financial Elder Abuse Discussed at Gold Club Dinner

Financial Fraud All Too Common Amongst Seniors

BEECHER, IL (April 16, 2012) – The Spring Gold Club Dinner brought out over 160 people for First Community Bank and Trust's semi-annual social event. Plenty of sloppy joes, soup, baked beans, pasta salad, chips and cake were served to satisfy the hungry crowd. Prior to dinner, Kathy Renz with the Senior Services Center of Will County gave a short presentation which highlighted some of the more common scams aimed at seniors. Gold Club members and their guests heard several cases in which the Senior Services Center intervened on behalf of an elderly victim. One woman deemed to be gravely ill signed over her Power of Attorney to a trusted relative, only to find out months after recovering that her home was in foreclosure. The relative forged her signature, took out a second mortgage and then failed to make the payments. Fortunately, the agency was able to step in and prevent her from being evicted from her home. The presentation ended with a brief question and answer session, after which attendees were invited to take informational brochures. Copies of the brochure are available in the bank lobbies in Beecher and Peotone.

Perceived as easy targets because of assumed physical or mental weaknesses, older people can be especially vulnerable to financial fraud as a single incident can completely wipe out their life savings, leaving them with very little or nothing to support themselves. Since the perpretrator is often someone that the elderly victim trusted, like a family member, friend or caregiver, the emotional toll can also be devastating. The Senior Services Center has trained staff members and a multitude of resources where help can be found.

If you suspect financial elder abuse, either your own or that of a family member or friend, please contact the Senior Services Center of Will County's Case Coordination Unit, which handles Elder Abuse Investigations. They are located at 251 North Center Street, Joliet, IL. Or, by phone at 815/740-4225. You may also contact the Illinois Department on Aging Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-866-800-1409 (1-888-206-1327 -TTY). Information is available on their website, www.state.il.us/aging/.

About First Community Bank and Trust
First Community Bank and Trust is a privately owned bank. Established in 1916 First Community Bank and Trust has been serving Beecher, IL, Peotone, IL and the surrounding communities for over 95 years. Our commitment to providing the best banking products and services is matched only by our outstanding customer service. We offer traditional community banking services, including mortgage, consumer, and commercial lending, as well as state of the art electronic banking services.

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Press Contact:
Steven D. Koehn, VP
First Community Bank and Trust
(708) 946-2246