Financial Abuse and Exploitation

Financial abuse is a crime. It is the use of a person’s property, assets, income, funds or any resources without their informed consent or authorisation.

The impact of financial abuse should not be underestimated and can be every bit as significant as physical abuse. Even small losses have the potential for significant impact when considered in context with a person’s overall wealth / income and whether or not they have access to the right support.

The negative impact of financial abuse, regardless of the source, can have an adverse effect on wellbeing and leave people unsettled and without the confidence to live independently.

  • Theft of money or possessions
  • Fraud, scamming
  • Preventing a person from accessing their own money, benefits or assets
  • Employees taking a loan from a person using the service
  • Undue pressure, duress, threat or undue influence put on the person in connection with loans, wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions
  • Arranging less care than is needed to save money to maximise inheritance
  • Denying assistance to manage/monitor financial affairs
  • Denying assistance to access benefits
  • Misuse of personal allowance in a care home
  • Misuse of benefits or direct payments  in a family home
  • Someone moving into a person’s home and living rent free without agreement or under duress
  • False representation, using another person's bank account, cards or documents
  • Exploitation of a person’s money or assets, e.g. unauthorised use of a car
  • Misuse of a power of attorney, deputy, appointeeship or other legal authority
  • Rogue trading – eg. unnecessary or overpriced property repairs and failure to carry out agreed repairs or poor workmanship
  • Unexplained withdrawals from the bank
  • Unusual activity in the bank accounts
  • Unpaid bills
  • Unexplained shortage of money
  • Reluctance on the part of the person with responsibility for the funds to provide basic food and clothes etc.
  • Unnecessary property repairs
  • Changes in deeds or title to property

A victim of financial abuse may experience any of the following:

  • Depression / anxiety
  • Distress
  • Anger
  • Embarrassment / loss of self-esteem
  • Self-blame – decline in mental health
  • Denial / fear
  • Betrayal
  • Stress
  • Loss of confidence to live independently
  • Deterioration in physical health (leading to premature death)
  • Social isolation
  • More vulnerable to further exploitation
  • Inability to replace lost savings due to lack of earning potential
  • Risk of suicide

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