If you suspect that you or someone you know is being financially abused, then you need to act immediately. Here are four things you can do right away:
- Tell someone - Talk to a person you trust and tell them what’s happening. Don’t be embarrassed - telling someone is your first step to making the abuse stop.
- Get help - Call the police, a lawyer or a local senior’s centre to find out who can help you deal with the abuse.
- Tell your bank if it relates to financial transactions - If you think someone is taking money from your bank account or charging your credit card without your permission, let your bank know immediately so they can shut account activity down.
- Get some distance - remove the abuser from your home and change the locks if someone has a key.
Where can you get more help? Read more here.
What does financial abuse look like? Read Anton’s story:
At 85 Anton has lived in the same house for 50 years. Last year, he began to have problems remembering things and missed some bill payments. His nephew suggested he sign a power of attorney giving him signing authority - it meant his bills would be paid on time and his cheques would be cashed.
Everything was fine for a few months. But now his nephew has put Anton's house up for sale - without his permission.
Three things Anton should do right away
- Tell a trusted friend or another family member
- Tell his bank
- Contact a lawyer