Financial Exploitation of Seniors
Financial exploitation of the elderly and vulnerable adults is a growing concern in Minnesota. A 2015 study estimated that seniors lose $36.48 billion each year to exploitation, fraud and trust abuse. Exploitation of seniors by groups or individuals pressuring or misleading seniors into unwise financial decisions is common and a growing trend in Minnesota. Fraud involving coercing seniors into disclosing personal information and then sending money has occurred in Minnesota and is also on the rise. Trust abuse of seniors usually involves the family or close acquaintance of a senior, perhaps one who has power-of-attorney to manage the senior’s finances, failing to use their position for the benefit of the senior. All three methods of financial exploitation can be devastating or even embarrassing to victims. Learn how to recognize the signs that your loved ones may be falling victim to these schemes.
Report suspected maltreatment or financial exploitation of a senior or vulnerable adult to the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at 844-880-1574 which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Five Signs that Indicate Elder Financial Fraud – from AARP
- Funds are vanishing from accounts, belongings are vanishing from the house, and bills go unpaid. Or, your loved one is confused about financial transactions.
- Spending habits have changed and all of a sudden, they’re secretive about money or says they needs more. Or there are unexplained credit card charges.
- A family member is not forthcoming about Mom or Dad’s finances.
- A new person has befriended your parent, a friend, or you to the point of weirdness. This person’s name has been added on a joint account and/or has power of attorney. Property titles, refinanced mortgages, deeds, wills, trusts or other documents have inexplicable changes.
- There are no checks and balances for a professional caregiver who has access to a loved one’s money.
Information provided by the MN Financial Crimes Task Force.