Warning Signs of Elder Financial Abuse

Financial Advisor and Award-Winning Wealth Manager Judith McGee said that the elderly are often victims of unfair, deceptive, or abusive financial practices. Most cases involve family members or someone familiar with the victim.

Typically the perpetrators make themselves indispensible to the elder and block interference by others. They especially try to prevent communication between the elder and anyone familiar with the victim’s normal financial transactions.

Judith shared how you can avoid disastrous situations by spotting the warning signs:

* An increase in the number of checks made out to “cash.”

* Unusual or erratic activity in the bank account.

* Irregularities on tax returns.

* Caregiver is spending an excessive amount on items for themselves.

* Signatures on checks or other documents do not resemble the older person’s signature.

* Unusual or inappropriate activity regarding investment properties or bank accounts, including the use of ATM cards to make large or repeated withdrawals.

* Power of attorney is given when the person is incapable of making such decisions.

* Missing personal belongings such as art, silverware or jewelry.

Another useful resource is Preventing and Responding to Senior Financial Abuse in Oregon, a comprehensive report published by the Oregon Senior Financial Abuse Coalition. It includes a list of helpful resources and agency contact information in the event of such a crime.

The report can be downloaded by clicking here.

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