Financial exploitation like other forms of elder abuse can be devastating to the victim and is often traced to family members, trusted friends, and caregivers. Sadly, family members are the most often identified as the abuser in nearly 62% of cases involving financial exploitation.
Unsuspecting or trusting older adults may fall prey to offers of “help” in managing their finances. Isolated older adults with limited access to the outside world (or little contact with friends) and other cognitive disorders are especially vulnerable.
The US Department of Justice defines financial and property exploitation as: the illegal or improper use of an older adult’s funds or property.
- Isolating the older adult from family, friends and information including income, accounts and bills.
- New friend or long-lost relative show up.
- Sudden changes in spending or missing legal documents such as POA, Wills, insurance policies and retirement accounts.
- Fraudulent signatures on financial documents.
- Unpaid bills.
- Missing valuables such as jewelry or antiques.
Financial Exploitation is the number one call to Aging Resources’ Elder Rights Specialists. If you are being exploited, know of someone who is or just have questions about financial exploitation, please call 515-255-1310.