Contacts:
Simona Combi
Public Relations Manager
571-527-3982
simona.combi@ncoa.org

Early Warning Services, LLC
press@earlywarning.com

May 29, 2024, Arlington, Va.—As World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) approaches on June 15, Early Warning Services, LLC, the company behind Zelle®, and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) are launching a national campaign to educate and empower older adults with knowledge on how to spot and avoid online scams.

The campaign encourages older adults, caregivers, and organizations to help spread safety education tips developed by Zelle® and NCOA by using a social media toolkit. The toolkit provides content for multiple social platforms and links to informative and engaging resources specifically designed for older adults.

Download Assets from the Scams Prevention Toolkit

NCOA and Zelle® have created educational articles and videos covering business impostor scams, online scams, and text messaging scams. The materials will be disseminated through NCOA’s network of community-based organizations across the country, including nearly 11,000 senior centers, 90 organizations that enroll older adults in benefits, Senior Community Service and Employment Program sites, and numerous healthy aging grantees.

Payment scams and other types of online fraud can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on older Americans. In 2023, 18% of fraud was reported by people ages 60-69 and 13% by people ages 70-79. Together, older Americans lost over $1.6 billion, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which collects fraud data. The most commonly reported scam category was imposter scams, which saw significant increases in reports of both business and government impersonators.

"Research shows that when people are exposed to relevant education on financial crime and payments safety, they are significantly less likely to engage with scammers and to lose money,” said Andrea Gilman, Early Warning chief marketing officer. “We at Zelle® believe that consumer education is a critical piece in the multi-layered approach to fighting financial criminals, alongside implementing technology safeguards and forming public-private partnerships. In addition to our consumer protection efforts, we are actively working with policymakers and other payment networks to look across the entire ecosystem to truly address the $1 trillion threat of fraud and scams that impacts consumers around the world, whether they pay with crypto, wire transfers, gift cards, or using a peer-to-peer service.”

Last year alone, Zelle® educated nearly 40 million consumers of all ages through their partnerships with organizations like NCOA, the Better Business Bureau, and others.

“As more older adults are adopting new forms of technology and communication, they are more vulnerable to being a victim of a scam,” said Genevieve Waterman, NCOA director of Corporate Partnerships and Engagement.

"Our educational materials will show older adults the different techniques financial criminals use and will help them recognize the telltale signs of scams.”

Held each year on June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day aims to raise awareness about the abuse and neglect some older adults may experience. It serves as a reminder to governments, organizations, and communities to take steps to prevent elder abuse and protect the rights and dignity of older adults worldwide.

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About Zelle®
Zelle® is transforming how money moves, with more than five billion digital payments sent since its launch in 2017. The Zelle Network® connects more than 2,100 bank and credit union brands of all sizes, enabling consumers and businesses to send digital payments to people and businesses they know and trust with an eligible bank account in the U.S. Money is available directly in bank accounts generally within minutes when the recipient is already enrolled with Zelle®. To learn more about Zelle® and participating financial institutions in the Zelle Network®, visit www.zellepay.com. Zelle® is brought to you by Early Warning Services, LLC, an innovator in payment and risk management solutions.

About NCOA
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or ZIP code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more at www.ncoa.org and @NCOAging.

Zelle® and the Zelle® related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.