How can you protect yourself from financial abuse
It is estimated that around 130,000 people aged 65 are currently suffering from financial abuse.
Comic Relief and the Department of Health recently commissioned a report, UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People and concluded that the best estimate is that between 1 and 2 percent of people aged 65 or over in the UK today (around 130,000 people) have suffered, or are currently suffering, financial abuse. This is likely to be a conservative estimate as it is thought that if financial abuse is carried out by a trusted family member or friend, the victim may be unwilling to report it out of embarrassment or fear of upsetting or causing a rift in the family.
So what is financial abuse?
Although we might think the term financial abuse refers to stealing large amounts of money or defrauding someone of their life savings (and it can), it can also relate to what might be seen as lower-level theft, a few pounds here and there, a couple of items popped into the shopping basket, change from the shopping not handed over and so on. Small amounts though, soon add up and things can quickly escalate.
Financial abuse can take many forms:
- Being pressurised to lend money to a relative or friends.
- Being charged excessive amounts of money for service.
- People frequently requesting small amounts of money with no good reason.
- When shopping, friends or family members adding their own items or ‘keeping the change’.
- Being pressurised to sign over the house or property.
- Taking money, cashing a cheque or using credit or debit cards without permission.
- Being pressurised into changing a will.
- Someone else taking charge of a pension or benefits and not handing over all the money
Whatever form it takes, large or small, none of us wants our mum, dad, gran or grandad to fall foul of financial abuse. GuardianCard is the safe, simple and secure solution to financial abuse.
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