What is financial exploitation?

Financial exploitation means taking advantage of someone's vulnerability in order to obtain their money or assets. Although a person of any age can be a victim of financial exploitation, this form of abuse is often targeted at older people. 

Click on the drop-down headings below to find out more about the vulnerabilities which are commonly exploited through financial abuse.

Loneliness

Loneliness

Perpetrators will often prey on a person's loneliness, for example, befriending or initiating a romantic relationship (often online) before then asking for financial support. Common such scams involve creating a story about the money being needed to help with medical needs, support of family members, to pay for travel to meet the person, or other "emergencies" which revolve around some kind of financial solution. 

Care Needs

Care Needs

A person who relies on someone else for tasks such as shopping, caring, or financial affairs (e.g. pension, wills, banking) may not be aware of money being taken from their accounts, sale of their assets or other types of financial exploitation. This involves an abuse of the older person's trust and can even be perpetrated by friends, family or carers.

Limited understanding/knowledge of technology

Limited understanding/knowledge of technology

Many online scams occur as a result of older people being tricked into providing their bank details or making payments which they believe are for one thing, but turn out to be for another. Perpetrators prey on those with a limited knowledge of how online banking, shopping and payments work.

Having a "nest egg" or savings

Having a "nest egg" or savings

Older people are sometimes targeted if they are thought to hold a large amount of money in savings, and may be persuaded to invest in bogus schemes as a result.

What are the signs of financial exploitation?

The Social Care Institute of Excellence lists the following signs to look out for, which can be seen in full by clicking the drop-down below. (Source: https://www.scie.org.uk/safeguarding/adults/introduction/types-and-indicators-of-abuse#financial)

SCIE - Sings of Financial Exploitation

Sings of financial abuse or exploitation include:

  • Missing personal possessions
  • Unexplained lack of money or inability to maintain lifestyle
  • Unexplained withdrawal of funds from accounts
  • Power of attorney or lasting power of attorney (LPA) being obtained after the person has ceased to have mental capacity
  • Failure to register an LPA after the person has ceased to have mental capacity to manage their finances, so that it appears that they are continuing to do so
  • The person allocated to manage financial affairs is evasive or uncooperative
  • The family or others show unusual interest in the assets of the person
  • Signs of financial hardship in cases where the person’s financial affairs are being managed by a court appointed deputy, attorney or LPA
  • Recent changes in deeds or title to property
  • Rent arrears and eviction notices
  • A lack of clear financial accounts held by a care home or service
  • Failure to provide receipts for shopping or other financial transactions carried out on behalf of the person
  • Disparity between the person’s living conditions and their financial resources, e.g. insufficient food in the house
  • Unnecessary property repairs

Reporting Concerns - Child

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