How can I tell if a friend, neighbor, or family member is a victim of financial exploitation?
Look out for these common signs of financial exploitation:
- Money is missing from your loved one's account.
- The person you care for says some money or property is missing.
- The person is afraid or seems afraid of a relative, caregiver, or friend.
- A relative, caregiver, friend, or someone else keeps your loved one from having visitors or phone calls, does not let her speak for herself, or seems to be controlling her decisions.
- You notice sudden changes in your loved one’s spending or savings. For example, your loved one is:
- Withdrawing money from accounts without explanation
- Wiring large amounts of money
- Using the ATM a lot
- Not paying bills that are usually paid
- Buying things or services she doesn’t usually buy
- Adding names on bank or other accounts that you do not recognize or that the account holder is unwilling or unable to explain
- Not receiving account statements or bills
- Giving new or unusual gifts to family members or others, such as a “new best friend"
- Changing beneficiaries of a will, life insurance policy, or retirement funds
- Allowing a caregiver, friend, or relative to begin handling her money