Learn about the different types of financial exploitation and exploiters

Financial exploitation can happen to anyone. It includes theft, scams, fraud and abuse or misuse of financial decision-making authority.

Older adults might be financially exploited by being:

  • Persuaded to buy something they can't afford or don't need, or that doesn't work

  • Pressured into signing over assets or making a new will

  • Tricked into signing legal documents, such as power of attorney or deed

  • Overcharged for work or services

  • Denied work or services they paid for

  • Convinced to lend money that is never paid back

  • Pressured into making investments

Older adults might also have their:

  • Money, valuables or medications stolen

  • Identity stolen, to access funds, file phony tax returns or apply for loans or credit cards

  • Signature forged on documents

People who financially exploit older adults can be:

  • Family members

  • Friends or neighbors

  • Paid caregivers or other in-home help

  • People with power of attorney or other legal authority to access the older adults' accounts

  • Financial advisors

  • Contractors or salespeople

  • Strangers calling or emailing

Others can take financial advantage of older adults by:

  • Living with them rent-free

  • Not paying for food, utilities or other household expenses

  • Asking the older adult for money or gifts

  • Threatening to stop helping if the older adult doesn't "pay up"

  • Talking the older adult into investments or financial decisions that benefit them more than the older adult

People who act this way often feel entitled to the older adult's money and resources. These people may keep making demands of the older adult that can escalate to become financial exploitation.