People who have cognitive issues or have been isolated from their families can be incredibly vulnerable to abuse – particularly financial abuse.

Being aware of how abusers attempt to manipulate or trick a victim into giving them money can be crucial in protecting yourself, your property and the people you love.

Common Abuse Tactics

    • Phone call scams – There are numerous types of scams that people carry out over the phone. They may claim to be from the government or a financial institution and request personal information. To avoid these scams, parties should refrain from answering calls from an unknown number. And you should never disclose personal information over the phone.
    • Fiduciary misconduct – If someone is incapable of managing their financial affairs, they may have a fiduciary making these decisions. A person in this role can easily misuse or steal money without others knowing right away. Carefully selecting people to fill these roles can help to prevent misconduct. Individuals who discovers signs of fiduciary abuse can contact an attorney to explore the legal remedies available.
    • Email and tech schemes – Financial abuse through email or tech can be increasingly difficult for people to identify, especially if they are not tech-savvy. In some cases, a scammer sends an email claiming to be the target’s relative in dire need of money. In other cases, they send a letter that appears to be from a trusted source but contains a link that redirects them to a fraudulent site. Having legitimate malware detection can prevent some of these attacks. And again, a person should never give personal information or money to people unless they can prove they are who they claim to be.

If your partner, parent or other loved one is reaching an age where he or she could fall victim to these tactics more easily, take the time to talk with them. Additionally, if you are becoming increasingly nervous about becoming the victim of financial abuse, do not be ashamed. Reach out to your children, a professional or someone else you trust.

Talking about financial scams and misconduct can help people avoid costly missteps and make them less attractive targets for abuse.