Financial abuse is a crime. It is the use of a person’s property, assets, income, funds or any resources without their informed consent or authorisation.
Financial abuse can occur in isolation, but research has shown, that where there are other forms of abuse, there is likely to be financial abuse occurring. Although this is not always the case, all professionals providing services or safeguarding interventions should also be aware of this possibility.
- Theft of money or possessions
- Fraud, scamming
- Preventing a person from accessing their own money, benefits or assets
- Employees taking a loan from a person using the service
- Undue pressure, duress, threat or undue influence put on the person in connection with loans, wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions
- Arranging less care than is needed to save money to maximise inheritance
- Denying assistance to manage/monitor financial affairs
- Denying assistance to access benefits
- Misuse of personal allowance in a care home
- Misuse of benefits or direct payments in a family home
- Someone moving into a person’s home and living rent free without agreement or under duress
- False representation, using another person’s bank account, cards or documents
- Exploitation of a person’s money or assets, e.g. unauthorised use of a car
- Misuse of a power of attorney, deputy, or other legal authority
- Rogue trading – e.g. unnecessary or overpriced property repairs and failure to carry out agreed repairs or poor workmanship
- internet scamming
- coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements
- misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
What does Financial Exploitation look like?
- Missing personal possessions
- Unexplained lack of money or inability to maintain lifestyle
- Sudden loss of assets
- Unusual or inappropriate financial transactions
- Visitors whose visits always coincide with the day a person’s benefits are cashed
- Disparity between the person’s living conditions and their financial resources, e.g. insufficient food in the house, lack of clothing or heating
- inability to pay bills/unexplained shortage of money;
- A sense that the person is being tolerated in the house due to the income they bring in; sometimes with that person not included in the activities the rest of the family enjoys
- change in living conditions;
- unexplained withdrawals from an account;
- unexplained loss/misplacement of financial documents;
- the recent addition of authorised signers on a client or donor’s signature card; or
- sudden or unexpected changes in a will or other financial documents.
- Power of attorney or lasting power of attorney (LPA) being obtained after the person has ceased to have mental capacity
- Failure to register an LPA after the person has ceased to have mental capacity to manage their finances, so that it appears that they are continuing to do so
- The person allocated to manage financial affairs is evasive or uncooperative
- The family or others show unusual interest in the assets of the person
- Signs of financial hardship in cases where the person’s financial affairs are being managed by a court appointed deputy, attorney or LPA
- Recent changes in deeds or title to property
- Rent arrears and eviction notices
- A lack of clear financial accounts held by a care home or service
- Failure to provide receipts for shopping or other financial transactions carried out on behalf of the person
- Unnecessary property repairs
Reporting Financial Exploitation
Anyone that suspects another professional or adult of abuse or neglect has a duty to refer it to the relevant employer or safeguarding agency to be investigated.
If you need to raise a Safeguarding Adults concern, please call 01472 256 256. This number is available 24 hours a day,365 days a year.