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Protect Yourself

There is a lot you can do to protect yourself from financial abuse. Here, we've gathered just a few pointers you can follow to protect yourself, and those you love, from the pain of financial abuse. Trust Elder Financial Protection Network to help you avoid or get past financial abuse, identity theft, and other financial issues.


Trust Your Instincts

Exploiters and abusers often are very skilled. They can be charming and forceful in their effort to convince you to give up control of your finances. Don't be fooled. If something doesn't feel right, it may not be right. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Take steps to protect yourself from financial exploitation and abuse:

Senior Woman and Daughter
  1. Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure your wishes are followed. Talk to someone at your financial institution, an attorney, or financial advisor about the best options for you.
  2. Never give personal information to anyone who phones you.
  3. Never pay a fee or taxes to collect sweepstakes or lottery "winnings."
  4. Never rush into a financial decision. Ask for details in writing and get a second opinion.
  5. Consult with a financial advisor or attorney before signing any document you don't understand.
  6. Get to know your banker and build a relationship with the people who handle your finances. They can look out for any suspicious activity related to your account.
  7. Check references and credentials before hiring anyone. Don't allow workers to have access to information about your finances.
  8. Pay with checks and credit cards instead of cash to keep a paper trail.
  9. Feel free to say "no." After all, it's your money.
  10. You have the right not to be threatened or intimidated. If you think someone close to you is trying to take control of your finances, call your local Adult Protective Services.

Key Resources:

Your local Area Agency on Aging and Adult Protective Services programs are the most important resources in your community. Reach them by using the National Elder Care Locator to find Adult Protective Services in your community, anywhere in the US. Just enter your zip code in the locator, or call (800) 677-1116.