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Warning Signs

Experts say elder financial abuse will be the "Crime of the 21st Century" as the growing senior population becomes a target. Regrettably, many seniors are victimized by their own relatives or caregivers—people they generally trust. Elder Financial Protection Network has found that financial exploitation takes many forms. Warning signs include:


  • Obtaining Unauthorized Access to an Elder's Social Security Checks, Pension Payments, Checking or Savings Account, Credit Card or ATM; Identity Theft
  • Charging an Elder Excessive Rent or Unreasonable Fees for Basic Care (E.G., Transportation, Food, or Medicine)
  • Scams (E.G., Bogus Sweepstakes, Lotteries) That Use Deception, Scare Tactics, or Exaggerated Claims to Get Money from Elders
  • "Conning" by Con Artists Who Make Their Living Preying on Others & "Befriend" Elders
  • Calls from Telemarketers Selling Worthless, Over Priced, or Nonexistent Products
  • Unfair or Misleading Home Equity Agreements That Cause Elders to Lose Their Homes
  • Unscrupulous Home Repair Contractors
  • Inappropriate Financial Products & Services
  • Fraudulent Lifelong Care Offers in Exchange for Money or Property
  • Use an Elder's Property or Possessions without Permission
  • Forging an Elder's Signature
  • Coercing an Elder to Sign a Deed, Will, or Power of Attorney
  • Pressuring an Elder to Give a "Gift"
  • Claiming to Have Found Money & Offering to Split It with an Elder If He or She First Pays Some Amount as a Sign of Good Faith
  • Convincing an Elder His or Her Child Has Been Injured or Is in Jail & Needs Money
  • Withholding Portions of Checks Cashed for an Elder