14 Red Flags for Elder Financial Abuse
The key to spotting financial abuse is a change in a person's established financial patterns. Watch out for these red flags:
- Unusual activity in an older person's bank accounts, including large, frequent or unexplained withdrawals.
- Changing from a basic account to one that offers more complicated services the customer does not fully understand or need.
- Withdrawals from bank accounts or transfers between accounts the customer cannot explain.
- A new "best friend" accompanying an older person to the bank.
- Sudden non-sufficient fund activity or unpaid bills.
- Closing CDs or accounts without regard to penalties.
- Uncharacteristic attempts to wire large sums of money.
- Suspicious signatures on checks, or outright forgery.
- Confusion, fear or lack of awareness on the part of an older customer.
- Checks written as "loans" or "gifts".
- Bank statements that no longer go to the customer's home.
- New powers of attorney the older person does not understand.
- A caretaker, relative or friend who suddenly begins conducting financial transactions on behalf of an older person without proper documentation.
- Altered wills and trusts.