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Elder Financial Abuse: It is not just a family matter, it is a community concern.

May 25, 2017. A phone rings in the middle of the day. An 800 number. The elderly woman is pretty sure she does not know the caller, but it cannot hurt to pick it up to make sure. Can it? Sure enough, an unfamiliar voice tells her that there is a problem with a computer, and she must do exactly what he says in order to fix it. He is insistent, with a great sense of urgency. He does not let her get a word in. The woman listens intently for a few moments, before politely telling him she does not own a computer. He curses at her and hangs up.

It is a half-truth. She does not have a computer, she has a laptop. But she also knows that the man’s intentions are far from honorable. This brave woman is my grandmother, and she watches enough crime shows and late night news to know there are plenty of unsavory characters out there who are waiting at a chance to abuse people who are too trusting. There are predators who pretend computers are at risk for hacking. Who convince the unsuspecting that out of state grandchildren are locked up in jail, and need bail wired to make it home. Who convince your law-abiding and trusting elderly neighbor that he made an error on tax forms, and must call the IRS back immediately or the police will come to his home to arrest him.

The truth is, if there is something wrong with the tax forms, the IRS will never directly call to threaten you. That is not and never will be their policy. The same theory applies to cybersecurity for the elderly. If this happens to you, where an unknown caller pretends to have intimate knowledge of your computer’s safety, hang up the phone. Encourage the elderly around you to do the same. If a stranger calls, claiming they have a family member who needs money wired to them, check the facts. Ask, oh you mean my grandson Will? (Insert for Will the name of someone who is not your family member.) That way if the caller agrees, they know something is not right. Even if they get it right, call your local police to verify the legitimacy of the claim. Chances are it is a scam.

Only 1 in 25 cases of Elder Financial Abuse are estimated to be reported. Yet in America there are over 2 million elders victimized every day. Elder Abuse is not just the behavior of a nameless, faceless person on the other line of the telephone. Nor, contrary to popular belief, is it a private, family matter you should not get involved in. Financial abuse can be committed by family members who exploit the power of attorney granted to them to take money without asking, or who take an ATM card and withdraw money without permission.

It is a sad state of affairs if our elderly community cannot feel safe in the comfort of their own home. Not everyone would be as quick to recognize potential scammers like my grandmother can. We owe it to the people we love—aging mothers, fathers, and grandparents to stay informed and vigilant against Elder Financial Abuse.
Luckily, there is a growing acknowledgement of this form of financial abuse. The Older Americans Act was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. This act provides additional assistance, safe havens, and support to elders who are at risk. It funded special programs to support the communities where financial abuse flies under the radar, like rural, minority, and Native American seniors. The Older Americans Act also paved the way to improve the ease of access to information on abuse, neglect, and exploitation, as well as funded research on potential preventive measures.

Whether that comes in the form of a seemingly harmless phone call, or out in public, it is not something you should ignore. It is not somebody else’s business. Make it your business to ensure the people around you are not being taken advantage of. Stay informed, and report it when you notice suspicious activity.

by:Madelyn Fagan

How to Be a Great Leader

April 28, 2017 - Being a leader can be tough. Some people are natural born leaders. However, most of us are not born with the natural ability to lead. Yet even if that is the case, anyone can grow and learn to be a good leader. Being a good leader means projecting confidence from yourself onto your subordinates. At Edcomm Banker's Academy, we offer a vast selection of videos that describe the best practices to develop your leadership skills.

When you think of a leader, what comes to mind? A political leader, pursuing a passionate, personal cause. An explorer, cutting a path through the jungle for the rest of his group to follow. An executive, developing her company's strategy to beat the competition. These are examples of leaders. Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to win as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring. Yet, while leaders set the direction, they must also use management skills to guide their people to the right destination, in a smooth and efficient way.

One of the best ways to be a good leader is to listen to everyone who you are leading. Be respectful of everyone’s concerns and make a concerted effort to listen to everybody. Make sure to positively reinforce the behaviors that you want to see.  In a business setting this could mean going out of your way to praise your employee for showing up promptly for work As a result, the employee may make an effort to be at work on time more often because the employee likes to be praised. In this example, praise acts as the stimulus and is a positive reinforcer for this employee because the employee arrives at work on time more frequently after being praised for showing up to work on time. You will get the results you want more effectively through praise, rather than scolding or disciplining the employee for being late.

Tips for Being a Great Leader

  • Project confidence

  • Listen to your employees

  • Be respectful

  • Use praise often

  • Positively reinforce desired behaviors

Be a positive influence for your team. Doing so boosts not only your team’s motivation, but your own as well. Take your leadership skills to the next level by signing up for Edcomm LMS and ask for the Video Library Series.

By: Matt Cohen

Social Media - Not Just For Millennials

March 17, 2017 - Social Media is a wonderful way to reach out to new customers and stay in touch with current customers. Millennials, Gen Xers, and even some Baby Boomers use Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat as a part of their everyday lives. People spend hours using social media to keep in touch with old friends and to find out the latest news. Why not use this emerging platform as a way to share important information on new products and services what your bank has to offer? I can tell you from personal experience, social media campaigns are worth investing your time in. I found my bank via Facebook. They had an advertisement for a $150.00 bonus if you sign up with them and remain a customer for 90 days, and I learned that they have no minimum balance requirements. Facebook reaches a large young audience, so it a wonderful way to attract new customers. Consider using Facebook to promote new products and offers that your organization is offering.


Remember to be careful when using social media. Anything you post online will be available to all to see. If you oversee social media at your organization, make sure to never post any confidential or sensitive materials. The social media account represents your organization, not you, so be wary of posting any political or insensitive material. Unlike traditional print media, social networking sites and blogs have no external checks or balances. Be sure to always know who is using your company’s social media account. You do not want any angry or disgruntled employees to have an audience of potentially millions of readers. Be sure to have another employee check your social media site as a check against any inappropriate posts. No one wants an employee to posts disparaging comments about your company, defame your company’s image, harass other employees, or leak your company’s trade secrets and other sensitive information.


Social Media


If your company decides to implement a workplace social media policy, you should consider the following tips to keep social media effective. Limit blogging that interferes with work commitments, or prohibit blogging during work time (unless blogging is work related). Prohibit employees from disclosing any information that is confidential or proprietary to the company or any third party that has disclosed information to the company, including concepts or developments that the employees produce related to the company’s business. Inform employees that the company may request that they temporarily confine their website or blog commentary to topics unrelated to the company if you believe that it’s advisable or necessary to comply with securities regulations or other laws.


Interested in learning more about best practices when it comes to boosting your social media platform? Check out our training. We offer curriculums that are devoted to Sales & Marketing, which discuss how to use social media as a business development tool. We are also excited to announce the release of video training! Edcomm Banker’s Academy now offers video assets that educate in Social Media Analytics, Social Media Etiquette, Social Media in Crisis, Social Media Privacy, Social Media Security, Social Media Techniques. We are confident that our video training can teach you everything you need to know to feel comfortable about sharing your organization’s narrative online.


By: Matt Cohen

Certifications – Celebrating the Individual, Building the Business

February 24, 2017 - What comes to mind when you hear the term certifications? A resume booster that determines which job candidates you accept? The object standing between you and that job promotion you are running full speed ahead towards?

Contrary to popular belief, certifications are not just a fancy piece of paper to hang in your cubicle or to reference on your LinkedIn page. Certifications are an efficient way to systematically assess skill competency in the work place.

So why is it worth your time to make sure there is a certification process in place at your work?

Certifications Build the Business

Certifications build credibility and streamline internal processes. It sets a standard for what skills you need to have in order to be recognized as knowledgeable in a certain area. As an added bonus, it is an excellent way to maintain quality assurance. For example, a company may choose to certify their employees in Microsoft Office once they have proven their ability to organize Excel spreadsheets, write concise meeting minutes successfully in Word, and design lively PowerPoint presentations for team meetings. Once an employee is certified, a manager can feel confident in their employee’s ability to thrive independently and to produce the best quality product.

From a business perspective, creating a certification process can improve existing internal processes. Creating clear requirements makes expectations for excellence transparent. When training goals are plain to see, it benefits both management and the employees. It gives managers a heads up as to which employees have the skill sets necessary for a particular project or promotion.

Certifications Celebrate the Individual

Clear training goals and certification requirements can motivate employees to actively participate in training and learn new skill sets that benefit their career and their company at large. Employee engagement is half of the battle when it comes to training.

Internal certification programs create opportunities for you the celebrate the individual. Your company is filled to the brim with talented and creative people with unique skill sets. Everyone enjoys being recognizes for their hard work and accomplishments, and this is a tangible way to recognize employees for their effort and achievement.

Creating certification goals can even create a long-term sense of job engagement, as it breaks up redundancy of the work day with personal, targeted goals to strive towards. and provides a validation of skills that can increase an employee’s sense of self-confidence. Employees who feel valued for their contributions tend to stick around and be more invested in the company’s well-being and growth.

Edcomm’s Qualification Feature

Edcomm Banker’s Academy believes in the value of certifying employees and recognizing their accomplishments. In recognition of this, our innovated Technology Team has created a Qualification Feature on our LMS. This user-friendly feature makes it easy to manage certifications and keep employees engaged in the learning process. Administrators can even assign online curriculums to employees with certifications to keep them apprised of the latest industry and skill specific trends. Please reach out to us directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to learn more.

by: Madelyn Fagan


Smart, Bob. “Why should organizations care about professional certifications?” ISACA. 2.(2013). Online.

Tannenbaum, Scott and George Alliger. “Internal certification programs: Enhancing individual and company success.” Employement Relations Today. 25.2 (1998). Online.

Happy Presidents’ Day from Edcomm!

Presidents Day is a holiday that recognizes and celebrates the great leaders of this nation. It was originally created in 1885 in honor of President George Washington who took an oath of office as the first president of the United States. President’s day is still referred to as “Washington’s birthday” by the federal government but his actual birthday is on February 22nd. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act placed this special day on every third Monday in February, to create longer weekends for the American people. As you enjoy some time off from work or school, please take the time to reflect and give recognition to our past presidents who helped make this country into the land of the opportunity.

Lauren Joyce

  • We switched to Banker’s Academy over a year ago from a different online training program. The cost savings was tremendous - which has been very helpful in this time of budget cuts. We found that the training content is precise, to the point, and always current. It doesn't have a lot Read More
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