There are financial record red flags that could alert you that someone is being a victim of financial exploitation. Does your loved one have unpaid bills, late charges, unusual amounts of cash or ATM withdrawals, charges for unusual items or other inconsistent findings in their financial records?
If so, these could all be clues that they are possibly a victim of financial exploitation. Knowing what the red flags are will help in identifying this unfortunate problem early so it can be addressed and hopefully stopped.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, continues with the video series on the Financial Exploitation of Elders and discusses the financial record red flags to look for to help identify the possibility of someone being a victim of financial exploitation.
Financial Record Red Flags For Possible Elder Financial Abuse
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another in our series of videos on Financial Exploitation of Elders focusing on steps that we can take to help identify and hopefully prevent it.
What I want to talk about today are red flags that you can identify, in looking through even a few months of someone’s financial records, that may tell you that they are a victim of financial exploitation. So, as soon as you do that you can hopefully help nip that in the bud. So, here’s what we want to look for.
- First of all, does the elder have unpaid bills, late charges? That may mean that their money is being diverted to other things and their needs are not being met.
- Are there an unusual number or unusual amounts of cash withdrawals, ATM withdrawals, wire transfers? Those are almost sure signs of trouble.
- Is there questionable activity on the account? Are there charges for types of things and to payees that are just not consistent with what that person has done in the past? That’s a good sign that the money is not being spent on them but rather on someone else.
- Are there any financial records that have been changed? If you are asking someone who is supposed to be the keeper of the records, “Are there any things that are missing?” Those are signs that somebody is trying to hide something from you.
- And last, but not least, has that person gotten a recent wave of new credit card offers? One of the ways that you can get access to more money, even than somebody has, is to start putting charges on their credit card, getting near the limit. As long as minimum payments are made, that tends to produce more credit card offers. And the more you have, the more you get and that can give somebody access to enough money to wipe somebody out financially.
So, again, a good look at a few months of financial records can go a long way towards spotting problems and addressing them. Thanks so much.
For more information on helping elders, visit these articles:
- Victim Risk Factors For Elder Financial Abuse – Part 1
- Victim Risk Factors For Elder Financial Abuse – Part 2
- Financial Exploitation of Elders: The Two Basic Types
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Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.