What are signs of financial exploitation?

Financial exploitation is often perpetrated by people in positions of trust. This can include the senior’s own children, grandchildren, friends, caregivers, neighbors, and church members. Because the perpetrator is someone close to the victim it may be hard for the senior to admit even to himself or herself that he/she has been victimized. It can also make it difficult for him or her to ask for help to stop the exploitation, since the perpetrator may be someone the seniors loves or who is providing vital assistance in other ways to the senior.  

Some warning signs that others might notice indicating you may be a victim of financial exploitation include: 

•financial activity inconsistent with your abilities or financial history 
•a lot of new account withdrawals, usually in round numbers ($50, $100, etc.) 
•increased activity on your credit cards 
•withdrawals from your accounts in spite of financial penalties 
•changes in account beneficiaries or newly authorized signers on accounts 
•you are confused about recent financial arrangements 
•changes in property titles, deeds, or refinanced mortgages 
•recent changes in power of attorney documents, wills, or trusts 
•you have recently become more reluctant to discuss financial matters 
•you have been isolated from contact with family members, friends, and/or society 
•your mail, phone calls, visitors, and/or outings have been taken over by the potential exploiter 
•you have been falsely worried that you will lose your house and be placed in a nursing home 
•you have been told that no one but the potential exploiter cares about you 
•your food or medication has been manipulated or withheld so you become weak or compliant 
•you have been threatened with harm, neglect, or abandonment if you don’t agree to do as you are told 
•your caregiver or beneficiary refuses to use your funds for your necessary care and treatment