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Seniors: 6 signs of financial abuse

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Older people are often targeted by scammers – which can even include family members – who want their hard-earned money. Here are some warning signs that this might be happening to you.

Seniors: 6 signs of financial abuse

#1: You notice strange activity in your accounts

There are withdrawals and transfers happening in your bank or investment accounts that you don’t recall authorizing or doing yourself.

Seniors: 6 signs of financial abuse

#2: You’re getting pressured by people you know to give or invest money

Family members, caregivers, or people from your church or community groups bring up the topic of money woes or opportunities to you regularly. You feel subtle or direct pressure to give or loan them money or invest through them.

Seniors: 6 signs of financial abuse

#3: People are calling, emailing or mailing you for money out of the blue

People you don’t recognize but who claim to know you are asking for money for things like emergencies or fees to access lottery winnings or other prizes. Remember: prizes and investment opportunities that seem too good to be true probably are!

Seniors: 6 signs of financial abuse

#4: Your pension, insurance and other cheques are getting cashed without your permission

Income you depend on seems to have stopped coming in. You may also notice that you’re not getting mail that you used to receive.

Seniors: 6 signs of financial abuse

#5: You’re feeling pressured to sell your home, hand over power of attorney or change your will

Family members or others are suggesting they know what’s best for you, despite you being in good mental health. You feel like people are using scare tactics on you.

Seniors: 6 signs of financial abuse

#6: You’re being asked to sign papers you don’t understand

People are being pushy in getting you to make financial decisions and are presenting you with papers and contracts that you didn’t ask for. What you read in these contracts is confusing or doesn’t seem to be in your best interest.

Seniors: 6 signs of financial abuse

People are here to help

If any of these things are happening to you, speak with someone you trust, your doctor, health care worker, lawyer, bank, the police, or organizations like the Elder Abuse Network or Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

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