We continue to see a rise in the number of vulnerable individuals falling victim to financial exploitation. This article provides tips to identify and report to BOS or local Adult Protective Services when you feel elder abuse is occurring.
What is Financial Elder Abuse:
Financial elder abuse is the act of taking advantage of and exploiting financials of an individual without their consent and is the most reported type of elder abuse (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). These individuals may live alone or are in isolated situations where they don’t have a support system. Because of this, they are seen as easy targets for scammers to gain unauthorized access to their accounts and resources.
Who Commits These Acts:
Examples include a trusted family member, caregiver, or medical staffer. These scammers usually have some sort of relationship with the victim which puts them in a situation where they are unaware of what’s occurring or afraid to confront their abuser. Strangers on the other hand may go for using phone or email phishing tactics to work their way into gaining access to personal information.
Common Red Flags:
- Unusual activity and sudden changes in bank accounts
- Personal belongings, cash, or financial statements are missing
- Someone with access to the funds is using money for personal gain rather than for welfare of the adult
- Overcharges for rent or other services
- Changes in financial affairs including title of property, accounts, and will
- Inadequate supply of food, clothing, or personal care items
How to Report if You Suspect Financial Exploitation:
Bank of Springfield can help our customers, or their family members, make reports on their behalf. If you suspect a family member or customer may possibly be a victim of financial elder abuse, please contact our Fraud Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also file a report through Adult Protective Services (APS). APS is coordinated through several provider agencies and works with local organizations to conduct investigations.
24-hour Adult Protective Services Hotline:
- Illinois Adult Protective Services:
- Phone: 866-800-1409 TTY: 888-206-1327
- Missouri Adult Protective Services:
- Phone: 800-392-0210 TDD: 800-735-2466
Click here to view more information on Fraud Prevention