Financial abuse is one of the fastest growing forms of elder abuse and takes many forms. It occurs when someone takes money that belongs to or has been designated for the care of elderly person. Unfortunately, financial abuse is often unreported because the perpetrator is a family member or “friend.” Changes in your ability to make important decisions regarding your finances can leave you vulnerable to someone who may handle your affairs differently than you would. Appointing a trusted family member, friend, or advisor as your agent through a Power of Attorney will give them the right to make financial and other decisions for your if you are unable to. See Power of Attorney for more information and some controls that you can put in place to protect yourself and your property.
Reach out to someone you trust, such as your doctor, if you are uncomfortable about a situation involving the potential abuse of your finances.
Other areas of financial abuse are investment fraud and unsolicited requests for money to “help” someone. Check out all unsolicited offers and never agree to buy anything or to send in money over the telephone. See Investment Fraud for more information and some tips on what to look out for.