What Is Financial Exploitation

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What Is Financial Exploitation

  1. 1. What is Financial Exploitation?
  2. 2. The illegal or improper use of another individuals’ resources for profit or gain. Also referred to as “fiduciary abuse”, “economic abuse” and “financial mistreatment”. This type of exploitation encompasses a broad range of conduct.
  3. 3. <ul><li>A vulnerable adult can be exploited in three ways: </li></ul><ul><li>Without the elder’s consent. </li></ul><ul><li>2. By trickery, intimidation, or coercion. </li></ul><ul><li>When the elder is too confused to give informed consent. </li></ul>
  4. 4. It is thought that anywhere from 33% to 53% of an estimated one million elder abuse victims are believe to experience financial exploitation. For each case of exploitation, approximately 5 go unreported. What we see now is the “tip of the iceberg”.
  5. 5. <ul><li>Complainant: family/friend </li></ul><ul><li>Victim characteristic: physically impaired </li></ul><ul><li>Living situation: alone </li></ul><ul><li>Perpetrators: acquaintance, son/daughter, other relative </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion: “unable to substantiate”, followed by “substantiated” </li></ul>In the majority of cases, the services offered to the victim were accepted.
  6. 6. Financial exploitation of elders can generally be classified in two broad categories, namely: 1. Exploitation by a person known to the victim , or 2. Exploitation by a stranger .
  7. 7. Misappropriation of income or assets : Perpetrator obtains access to an elder’s social security checks, pension payments, checking or savings account, credit card, or ATM card, or withholds portions of checks cashes for an elder. Charging excessive rent or fees for services: Perpetrator charges an elder excessive rent or unreasonable fees for basic care services such as transportation, food or medicine.
  8. 8. Obtaining money or property by undue influence, misrepresentation, or fraud: Perpetrator coerces an elder into signing over investments, real estate or other assets through the use of manipulation, intimidation or threats. Improper or fraudulent use of the power of attorney or fiduciary authority: Perpetrator improperly or fraudulently uses the power of attorney or fiduciary authority to alter an elder’s will, to borrow money using an elder’s name, or to dispose of an elder’s assets or income.
  9. 9. Bank Examiner Scam: Perpetrator represents him/herself as a bank examiner, and convinces an elder to make a large withdrawal to help catch a dishonest bank employee. Pigeon Drop: Perpetrator claims to have found a sum of money and offers to split it with an elder, provided the elder first withdraws an amount equal to his or her share as a sign of good faith.
  10. 10. Fake accident ploy: Perpetrator convinces an elder that the elder’s child has been serious injured or is in jail, and needs money for medical treatment or bail. Telemarketing & mail fraud: Perpetrator persuades an elder to buy a valueless or nonexistent product, donate to a bogus charity, or invest in a fictitious enterprise.
  11. 11. You’ve just won a prize! Perpetrator tells an elder that he or she has won a nonexistent prize, and obtains the elder’s credit card or checking account number to pay for shipping & handling charges, or to verify the elder’s identity. Unsolicited work: Perpetrator arrives unexpectedly at an elder’s residence and offers to perform work for a reasonable fee; after starting the work, the perpetrator insists that the elder pay more than originally agreed upon before the work will be completed.
  12. 12. <ul><li>Use Direct Deposit for your checks. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not leave money or valuables in plain view. </li></ul><ul><li>Sign your own checks. Do not sign “blank checks” where another person can fill in the amount. (If you need someone to help you write you checks before you sign them, ask a third party to review the check & take it to the bank. </li></ul><ul><li>If someone is helping you with managing your finances, get a trusted third person to help you review your bank statement. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not sign any document without reading it carefully. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Do not sign any agreement until it has been reviewed by a trust friend or other advisor, or an attorney. If possible, get to advisors to look at the document. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not lend money in return for a general promissory note. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not sign over money or property to anyone for care, even a family member or friend, without having the agreement reviewed by an attorney. The agreement must be written. Give someone else a copy. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not allow anyone, even a relative, to put their name on your account without your express consent. Your bank can set up a separate account in both names with automatic transfer of limited funds. </li></ul>
  14. 16. Remember: Some of these tools (particularly powers of attorney) can be part of financial exploitation.
  15. 17. <ul><li>Someone uses your name or </li></ul><ul><li>personal information to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open credit card accounts or use existing accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take out a loan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a major purchase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access bank accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>File fraudulent tax returns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or even commit a crime! </li></ul></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>By stealing wallets & purses containing your information & credit & bank cards. </li></ul><ul><li>Stealing your mail. </li></ul><ul><li>Looking through your trash & retrieving discarded bills or credit applications (dumpster diving). </li></ul><ul><li>Completing a “change of address” form, and having your mail forwarded to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Say they work for a bank or credit reporting agency when they ask for your SSN over the phone. </li></ul><ul><li>Pose as landlords, lawyers, or other officials who have authority to access your information. </li></ul><ul><li>Use personal information you share on the internet. </li></ul>
  17. 19. <ul><li>They use your information to establish a new ID and pretend to be you. </li></ul><ul><li>They open utility (phone, cell phone) accounts in your name. </li></ul><ul><li>They open bank accounts and write bad checks. </li></ul><ul><li>They file bankruptcy under your name to avoid eviction or payment of any new debt occurred. </li></ul><ul><li>They counterfeit checks or debit cards, and drain your bank account. </li></ul><ul><li>They buy cars by taking out auto loans in your name. </li></ul>
  18. 20. <ul><li>ATM Card </li></ul><ul><li>Bank Account Info </li></ul><ul><li>Bills </li></ul><ul><li>Calling Card </li></ul><ul><li>Checks </li></ul><ul><li>Credit & Debit Cards </li></ul><ul><li>Credit Report </li></ul><ul><li>Name & Address Passwords </li></ul><ul><li>Personnel Records </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-approved credit card offers </li></ul>
  19. 21. <ul><li>Be VERY cautious about giving out your SSN. </li></ul><ul><li>Do NOT carry your SS Card in your wallet. </li></ul><ul><li>Do NOT have your SS # printed on your checks or drivers’ license. (For that matter, don’t print your DL number on your checks either.) </li></ul>
  20. 22. <ul><li>Carry ONLY the ID and credit/debit card that you need. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t carry your SS card; give your SSN only when absolutely necessary. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to memorize passwords. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t use obvious codes for PIN numbers. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t give out personal info over the phone. </li></ul><ul><li>Guard your mail & trash. </li></ul><ul><li>Use a shredder. </li></ul><ul><li>Never leave receipts behind. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your eye on the cashier. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention during transactions. </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of “shoulder surfers”. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t make purchases from unsecured internet sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Turn your computer off when not in use. </li></ul>
  21. 23. <ul><li>File a police report. </li></ul><ul><li>Contact the Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-438-4338 </li></ul><ul><li>Contact the 3 major credit bureaus and have a fraud alert placed on your account: </li></ul><ul><li>Equifax 1-800-525-6285 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experian 1-888-397-3742 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TransUnion 1-800-680-7289 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contact creditors where fraudulent accounts were opened, or where fraudulent charges were made. </li></ul>
  22. 24. <ul><li>For more information, contact: </li></ul><ul><li>Isaac B. Chappell, Jr. Regional Extension Agent </li></ul><ul><li>1702 Noble Street, Suite 108 </li></ul><ul><li>Anniston, AL 36201 </li></ul><ul><li>Phone: (256) 237-1621 </li></ul><ul><li>www.aces.edu </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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