SAN FRANCISCO — Providian Financial Corp. has made a $50,000 grant to the California Community Partnership for the Prevention of Financial Abuse to support the development of countywide forums to inform the elderly about fraud, telemarketing scams, and how to prevent financial abuse.

Providian said that it is one of several California banking companies that is spending money to help combat the financial exploitation of senior citizens. An estimated 100,000 to 125,000 seniors in the state are victimized by financial abuse each year. Most of them fall prey to family members or caregivers, but seniors are increasingly targeted for mortgage and investment fraud, according to the California Community Partnership group.

The nonprofit organization said that it has trained more than 400 employees of Bay Area banks to recognize and report financial abuse.

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