Signs of Elder Financial Abuse

Education | 06/16/23
BLOG Elder Abuse Q2 JUNE23

Elder financial abuse occurs when someone takes or misuses an older adult’s money or property for the benefit of themselves. This can occur at the hands of friends, family members, strangers or caregivers. This form of abuse can severely affect the finances of the victim, wiping out decades worth of saving and hard work. Luckily, there are ways to protect your loved ones from elder financial abuse and take action if it does occur.

Elder financial abuse may manifest in various ways, including:

  • Stealing an elder’s valuables.
  • Taking control of an elder’s power of attorney.
  • Using the elder’s cash or credit cards without their consent.

Financial abuse can be harder to spot than other types of elder abuse, as it may not physically affect the victim. However, there are some signs that could indicate elder financial abuse may be taking place:

  • Forged signatures on legal documents or checks
  • Unusual or unauthorized bank withdrawals
  • Missing personal belongings
  • Sudden changes to an elder’s will
  • The individual is signing documents they don’t understand
  • Unpaid bills or mounting debt

If you suspect your loved one may be a victim of elder financial abuse, it’s crucial that you report it immediately. The sooner a case has been reported, the quicker it can be addressed. You can report the abuse to the elder’s financial institution, law enforcement, trusted family members or if they are in a long-term care facility, the director. At Ascend, the security of our members' finances is our top priority. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the security of your accounts or suspect any fraudulent activity, please contact our member service team at 800-342-3086.

For additional tips on security and fraud prevention, check out our article “3 Tips for a Scam Free Summer”.

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