When looking for warning signs of elder financial abuse focus on looking for changes in a person’s established financial patterns.
Signs Of Elder Financial Abuse
- Unusual activity in a person’s bank accounts, including large, frequent or unexplained withdrawals.
- ATM withdrawals by an older person who has never used a debit or ATM card.
- Withdrawals from bank accounts or transfers between accounts your loved one cannot explain.
- Large withdrawals from a previously inactive account.
- New joint account suddenly opened up.
- Sudden appearance of credit card balances.
- New “best friends” wanting to accompany an older person to the bank.
- Sudden non-sufficient fund activity.
- Unpaid bills.
- Closing CDs or other savings accounts without regard to penalties.
- Uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money.
- Suspicious signatures on checks, or outright forgery.
- Checks written as “loans” or “gifts” to someone the family doesn’t know.
- Bank and credit card statements that no longer go to the customer’s home.
- New credit cards showing up in your loved ones name.
- New powers of attorney the older person does not understand.
- A caretaker, relative or friend who suddenly begins conducting financial transactions on behalf of an older person without proper documentation.
What Should You Do If You Suspect Financial Abuse?
- Talk first to elderly friends or loved ones if you see any of the signs mentioned above.
- If you suspect fraud, contact Washington Adult Protective Services in your town or state for help. 1-866-363-4276
- Report all instances of elder financial abuse to your local police if fraud is involved, they should investigate.