Edmond resident Elaine Dodd has made a difference in the lives of many Oklahomans.
She spent 22 years in law enforcement doing investigative work for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, where she was the agency’s only female agent at the time. She investigated white-collar crimes and trained officers and medical professionals. In 1992, she became the nation’s first female director of a statewide law enforcement agency as head of the agency.
After working with Leadership Oklahoma for six years, Dodd joined the Oklahoma Bankers Association as head of a new fraud division.
Today she is a fraud investigator and the vice president of the fraud division at the Oklahoma Bankers Association. It is the only banking association fraud division in the nation, according to the AG’s office.
Thursday morning, Dodd was honored by the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, which presented her with the 2013 Brad Edwards Consumer Champion Award for her work on behalf of Oklahoma seniors and defrauded customers.
She was recognized at the Capitol in both the House and Senate chambers.
Lea Ann Jackson, chief operating officer for the Oklahoma Bankers Association, nominated Dodd, saying she goes beyond her required duties to help the community, including taking calls after hours from worried Oklahomans.
“Because of her passion for the people of Oklahoma, Elaine insisted that her position evolve,” Jackson said. “She speaks to individuals during and outside of work hours and even when out of state on vacation to try to prevent them from becoming a victim or to minimize the damage.”
Dodd’s duties include traveling across the state talking to groups of seniors about how to avoid scams as well as training bank employees, accountants and other professionals on how to recognize fraud.
She is a charter member of the Oklahoma Coalition Against Financial Exploitation of the Elderly and has helped organize and support groups of fraud investigators in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Lawton and Durant.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Dodd’s dedication to educating seniors, bankers and customers about fraud inspires all public servants who serve to protect citizens.
“She has made a significant contribution to the education and awareness of older and at-risk Oklahomans to help protect them from exploitation,” Pruitt said. “This honor is well-deserved.”
Dodd said every day she wakes up knowing she has a chance to make a difference in someone’s life. She said that when she was with the OBN, she often worked with lawmakers, and it was good to be with them again.
“It’s just such an honor,” Dodd said of receiving the award.
Dodd said Oklahoma benefits from active networking by representatives of organizations including law enforcement, banks and adult protective services.
Consumer impacts of financial crimes include emotional and psychological harm, loss of confidence in financial institutions, asset loss, criminal arrests and an average loss of $3,278 per victim in counterfeit check schemes; 20 percent of the victims are 70-plus years old, according to a recent presentation by Dodd on consumer education.
Criminals prey on consumer vulnerabilities due to greed, financial difficulties, job loss and lack consumer awareness. Financial crimes cause significant loses to institutions and customers. Scammers target senior citizens because they are less likely to consult friends, family or a financial institution and the elderly generally have savings.
Each year, the Brad Edwards Consumer Champion Award is presented in conjunction with Oklahoma Consumer Protection Day at the Capitol. Edwards was a longtime consumer advocate for KFOR-4.
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