Montana State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale on Tuesday convened the Senior Financial Exploitation Task Force, to protect Montana’s older adult population from financial crimes and abuse.

Rosendale said the genesis of the task force goes back to the 2017 legislative session.

“We were able to get House Bill 24 passed,’ said Rosendale. “That allows financial professionals to temporarily delay dispersements from vulnerable Montanans accounts when financial exploitation is suspected.”

He also said a lack of communication between various state agencies has hampered such actions in the past.

“Similar to what happened during 9-11before various security agencies started talking to and sharing information with each other, now we’ve got Adult Protective Services, the County Attorney’s Association, Department of Public Health and Human Services, and the banking commission and the Department of Justice getting together to share information. Now, we have a rapid response team in place to make sure our seniors here in Montana aren’t being taken advantage of.”

Attendees included Attorney General Tim Fox, DPHHS Director Sheila Hogan, Michael Hagenlock from Adult Protective Services, Melanie Hall from Banking, Wyatt Glade from the County Attorneys Association, and other representatives from the attorney general’s office, DPHHS, and APS.

Rosendale encourages anyone who suspects financial exploitation or fraud to contact his office at (406) 444-2040 visit the agency website.