Bankwest produces self-help video to keep elderly customers’ money safe online

8 October 2019

Bankwest has released a self-help video to help elderly and more vulnerable customers protect their money online, as part of its ongoing drive to counter financial elder abuse.

Launched during Stay Smart Online Week the new short film is a video representation of Bankwest’s extremely popular Safe and Savvy booklet (PDF), published last year.

Bankwest General Manager Personal and Business Banking Donna Dalby said more and more elderly people were being caught by scammers and fraudsters.

“In today’s increasingly digital world much of our shopping and banking is being done online," Ms Dalby said.

“While new technology brings greater convenience, sadly it opens up the possibility of less technologically savvy people - such as some elderly customers - being caught out by frauds and scams.

“We’re trying to educate our older customers on the risks and provide them with steps they can take to protect their financial wellbeing. That’s why we’ve produced this Safe and Savvy guide - as a booklet and now as a video - to get the information out to as many customers as possible.”

Ms Dalby added that the video’s production was prompted by the over-whelming popularity of the booklet.

“We’ve handed out hundreds of our Safe and Savvy booklets at our branches and at various information sessions we hold in the community. By putting this new video on our website, we hope the information and advice will get out to even more people,” she said.

Kingsley resident and long-time Bankwest customer Doris, 78, lost thousands of dollars to an online fraudster last year and said she’s happy to see her bank helping to educate people like herself.

“The internet and internet banking can be a little confusing for elderly people like me who’re used to doing banking with a paper and pen. It’s good to see Bankwest doing so much to help," she said.

“I’d never want what happened to me to happen to anyone else and hopefully this video and booklet will help people learn how to look after their money online and avoid being scammed.”

The video is the latest in a series of initiatives undertaken by Bankwest on the issue of financial elder abuse.

“At Bankwest we have an important role to play in identifying and supporting customers who we believe could be victims of financial elder abuse,” Ms Dalby said.

“As well as educating our customers we also train our colleagues to identify warning signs by asking clear, factual and non-threatening questions and escalating cases involving susceptible customers to our Customer Care and Fraud Teams.”

Bankwest is committed to working with government and stakeholders to help vulnerable Australians, and especially elderly people, better protect themselves from the risk of financial elder abuse.

In 2018, Bankwest contributed to the WA Legislative Council’s Select Committee Inquiry into Elder Abuse and at a subsequent Department of Communities summit on the issue.

  • Between 2017 and 2018 there was an 18% increase in the number of reported scams with losses reported to ACCC and other government agencies amounting to nearly $500 million.
  • The Australia Bureau of Statistics estimates that 1.6 million Australians were affected by personal fraud in the 2014-15 financial year, the last year statistics were recorded, with a total loss of $3 billion.
  • 76% of scam activity affected people over the age of 50.

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