Bill would let banks freeze accounts to stymie elder scams

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A bill under consideration in New York’s legislature would give banks the ability to temporarily freeze the accounts of older adults when they notice activity uncharacteristic of a person’s normal spending habits.

The measure is intended to combat financial abuse and fraud aimed at elders.

New York’s Office of Children and Family Services says financial fraud costs the state’s seniors an estimated $1.5 billion per year.

It might also help people like Roseann Keiles, of Long Island. Her 82-year-old mother was tricked into giving thousands of dollars before a local banker alerted the family that something was wrong.

The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate in March, but has faced resistance in the Democratic-led Assembly and hasn’t been scheduled for a vote.

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