Executive Summary. Financial exploitation (FE) in older adults is the “illegal taking, misuse or concealment of funds, property or assets of a vulnerable elder” (National Center on Elder Abuse: https://ncea.acl.gov/faq/index.html#faq1) and poses a serious public health problem.
If you want to report elder financial abuse, contact your local county APS Office (PDF). Abuse reports may also be made to you local law enforcement agency.
(l) Financial or Property Exploitation means illegal or improper use of an elderly or adult with a disability’s money, property, or other resources for monetary or personal benefit, profit or gain.
Financial abuse occurs when your loved one is taken advantage of financially. A few common examples include having money stolen out of their bank account or having their identity stolen by a staff member. Consider the following 10 signs of financial abuse to protect your loved ones from this crime.
Any unauthorized (or fraudulently obtained) use of an elder’s money or property is considered a violation of California’s financial elder abuse law.
Family Members. One study found that more than 90 percent of financial abusers were family members or close friends. Family dynamics can set up a situation where a relative financially exploits a senior. In this situation, financial exploitation may be referred to as financial mistreatment, fiduciary, or economic abuse
Possible signs of elder financial abuse include: Large bank withdrawals or transfers between accounts. Missing belongings or property. Mood changes (such as depression or anxiety) New changes to an elder’s will or power of attorney.
To prove there was a breach by the fiduciary or someone else, one or more of the following must be proven:
Cognitive decline is a key factor that makes the elderly more susceptible to financial exploitation. Thus, a decline in fluid intelligence can make it more difficult to manage money and make financial decisions.
Financial crimes against the elderly fall under two general categories: fraud committed by strangers, and financial exploitation by relatives and caregivers. These categories sometimes overlap in terms of target selection and the means used to commit the crime.
Elder neglect or self-neglect warning signs
Examples of this type of financial abuse might include: Using an older parent’s ATM card without their permission. Forging or misusing an older person’s checks. Using the authority granted by a power of attorney to use the older person’s funds for one’s own needs.
What is Financial Exploitation of the Elderly? Some examples include cashing an elderly person’s checks without their knowledge or permission, forging their signatures, deceiving them into signing certain documents or making withdrawals without permission from their bank account with the elderly person’s ATM card.
What Are the Signs of Financial Elder Abuse?
Taking money from a wallet, manipulating an elder to turn over money, or using an elder’s phone for long distance calls can all be considered financial abuse. This is a serious form of abuse as it can leave elders unable to provide for their needs and fearful of what tomorrow will hold.
How do I prove financial elder abuse?