Preventing Elder Financial Abuse

Understanding what elder financial exploitation can look like and why it can be hard to spot can help you protect yourself, your loved ones, or someone you care for who may be at risk for this kind of abuse.

Elder financial abuse spans a broad spectrum of conduct, including:

  • Taking money or property
  • Forging an older person's signature
  • Getting an older person to sign a deed, will, or power of attorney through deception, coercion, or undue influence
  • Using the older person's property or possessions without permission
  • Promising lifelong care in exchange for money or property and not following through on the promise
  • Telemarketing scams. Perpetrators call victims and use deception, scare tactics, or exaggerated claims to get them to send money. They may also make charges against victims' credit cards without authorization.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) recognizes the importance of financial literacy and education and supports the efforts of credit unions to help their members make prudent, personal financial decisions. Credit unions providing financial education to their members should consider using the Money Smart program.

Money Smart is a comprehensive financial education curriculum designed to help individuals enhance their financial skills and develop positive relationships with financial institutions.

Money Smart for Older Adults is an instructor-led training developed jointly by FDIC and CFPB.  The module provides awareness among older adults and their caregivers on how to prevent elder financial exploitation and to encourage advance planning and informed financial decision-making.

There are seven segments covering the following topics:
 
  • Common Types of Elder Financial Exploitation
  • Scams Targeting Veterans
  • Identity Theft
  • Medical Identity Theft
  • Scams that Target Homeowners
  • Planning for Unexpected Life Events
  • How to Be Financially Prepared for Disasters

 
 
Additional Resources on Frauds Impacting Seniors:

 

 

 

Additional Articles: