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Lamont signs new law to protect Connecticut seniors from financial exploitation

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont
Ebong Udoma
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed a law to protect seniors from financial fraud, scams and exploitation, at a ceremony in Cheshire on Thursday.

Elder fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. with about 8 million incidents reported a year and losses of more than $113 billion, according to state officials.

Most of the cases involve deposit accounts, debit cards and credit cards.

That’s why the Connecticut law is focused on electronic transactions.

“A lot of these crimes are coming at you online," Lamont said. "And there you’ve got to be incredibly careful and thanks to this bill you’ve got the banks and others looking out for you as well.”

The law authorizes financial institutions to temporarily suspend or hold transactions involving an account of a person over the age of 60 for up to 45 days, if there is a reasonable suspicion of financial exploitation.

“Giving the banks the discretion to put a pause on somebody who is coming in with your credit card number,” Lamont said.

“By the way, don't give out your credit card number. Just don't do that. And if they say anything about handout gift cards, run for the hills because those are often a telltale sign of fraud that's out there,” he warned seniors.

The law takes effect on July 1, 2024.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.