Elder Financial Abuse
Elder Financial Abuse is the financial exploitation of an older person by another person or entity, that occurs in any setting (e.g., home, community, or facility), either in a relationship where there is an expectation of trust and/or when an older person is targeted based on age or disability.
Did You Know:
- Fraud losses reported by people 60-69 (the highest of all age groups) totaled $836M in 2022.
- Total losses for people over 60 exceed $3.1B.
- Seniors targeted by fraudsters suffer an average loss of $35,101.
Warning Signs of Elder Financial Abuse:
- Unusual activity in an older person’s bank accounts, including large, frequent, or unexplained withdrawals, sudden non-sufficient fund activity or unpaid bills.
- A new “best friend” accompanying an older person to the bank.
- A senior who is not allowed to speak for themselves or make decisions; confusion, fear or lack of awareness from older customer.
- Uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money.
- Checks written as “loans” or “gifts.”
- Bank statements that no longer go to the customer’s home.
- A caretaker, relative or friend who suddenly begins conducting financial transactions on behalf of an older person without proper documentation.
- ATM withdrawals by an older person who has never used a debit or ATM card.
- Closing CDs or accounts without regard to penalties.
What should you do if you suspect financial abuse?
- Talk to trusted friends or loved ones if you see any of the signs mentioned here. Try to determine what specifically is happening with your financial situation, such as a new person “helping” them with money management, or a relative using cards or credit without their permission.
- Report the elder financial abuse to your bank and enlist your banker’s help to stop it and prevent its recurrence.
- Contact Adult Protective Services in your town or state for help.
- Report all instances of elder financial abuse to your local police—if fraud is involved, they should investigate.