iFAST – Illinois Financial Abuse Specialist Team

iFAST – The Illinois Financial Abuse Specialist Team – is a multi-disciplinary collaborative dedicated to preventing elder financial exploitation, the most commonly reported form of abuse against older adults.

A Powerful Collaboration to Combat Elder Financial Exploitation

AgeOptions developed iFAST in 2013 as a targeted effort to prevent financial exploitation of older adults in the metropolitan Chicago area. It is a powerful collaboration among social service organizations, county and state law enforcement, financial institutions, legal services and state agencies to address the systemic fragmentation in addressing elder financial exploitation in Cook County.

Through education, outreach and high-level networking initiatives, iFAST raises awareness for the prevention, detection and effective resolution of financial exploitation, fraud and scams in our area.

The multi-disciplinary team uses a collaborative approach to detect, reduce and respond to incidents of financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.

iFAST bridges gaps between social service and community-based organizations, county and state law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, legal services and state agencies. It combats elder financial exploitation through case consultation, community education, provider training and rapid response.

Community Education

iFAST conducts presentations to educate consumers on the warning signs of financial exploitation, fraud and scams. The Money Smarts for Older Adults curriculum developed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides information and increases awareness of this growing issue and provides detailed examples and resource guides.

Case Consultation

iFAST facilitates case consultation phone calls in which a skilled multi-disciplinary team of professionals review active financial exploitation cases. They use community resources, investigative strategies and expert guidance while advocating for victims of abuse.

The key principles of any recommended intervention are self-determination and maximizing each individual’s independence so they can safely remain in the community.

Stakeholder Engagement

IFAST encourages collaboration among a wide network of professionals. Participating agencies include the Illinois Department on Aging, Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department, Adult Protective Services provider agencies, Circuit Court of Cook County Elder Justice Center, Office of the Cook County Publid Guardian and an array of financial institutions.

Corporate Partnerships

iFAST is a privately funded, self-sustaining program of AgeOptions. We continuously seek contributions to better serve at-risk adults in Cook County and across Illinois. Giving opportunities may incude private donations, event or program sponsorships, Community Reinvestment Act contributions or class action cy-pres distributions.

If you or your organization are interested in supporting iFAST or AgeOptions, please contact Chrystal Brown, director of development and corporate relations, at chrystal.brown@ageoptions.org.

Please direct all iFAST program inquiries to Jamie Farrell at Jamie.farrell@ageoptions.org.

To report abuse, call the 24-hour Adult Protective Services hotline: (866) 800-1409; (888) 206-1327 (TTY) or a designated Adult Protective Services provider agency in the appropriate region. Click here for a link to find your local APS provider.

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