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Financial Exploitation

On this website, financial exploitation refers to illegal or improper use of an older person’s funds, property, or assets by a trusted person or entity. Please refer to Fraud for information on improper financial activity conducted by other individuals or entities.

Abuse of Power of Attorney
Source: ABA Commission on Law and Aging
Content Type: PDF
Fact sheet on financial abuse using powers of attorney.

Fighting Fraud Partner Tool Kit
Source: Save and Invest.org
Content Type: web page
Online resources on fighting financial fraud.

Taking Action: An Advocate's Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud
Source: Save and Invest.org
Content Type: web document
A comprehensive guide to helping someone who has been victim of financial fraud.

CFPB Guidance to Financial Institutions on Reporting Exploitation and Privacy Concerns
Source: Save and Invest.org CFPB
Content Type: PDF
Guidance to financial institutions to clarify the applicability of privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) to reporting suspected financial exploitation of older adults. Employees of depository institutions and other financial service providers that constitute "financial institutions" for purposes of the GLBA may observe signs of possible financial exploitation of an older adult. Various federal and state authorities either require or encourage reporting of this type of information to the appropriate agency. This guidance clarifies that reporting suspected financial abuse of older adults to appropriate local, state, or federal agencies does not, in general, violate the privacy provisions of the GLBA or its implementing regulations. In fact, specific privacy provisions of the GLBA and its implementing regulations permit the sharing of this type of information under appropriate circumstances without complying with notice and opt-out requirements.

Managing Someone Else's Money
Source: CFPB
Content Type: Webpage
With links to documents Millions of Americans are managing money or property for a loved one who is unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. This can be very overwhelming. But, it's also a great opportunity to help someone you care about, and protect them from scams and fraud. CFPB provides four easy-to-understand booklets to help financial caregivers. The Managing Someone Else's Money guides are for agents under powers of attorney, court-appointed guardians, trustees, and government fiduciaries (Social Security representative payees and VA fiduciaries.)

Curriculum on Preventing Scams Targeting Older Adults
Source: FDIC
Content Type: PDF
Basic training curriculum on preventing financial scams and exploitation. A companion trainer’s manual is available.

Spotlight on scams that target older adults
Source: CFPB
Content Type: Webpage
Older Americans lose an estimated $2.9 billion annually to financial exploitation, and it’s estimated that for each case that is reported, 43 others go unrecognized. With 50 million older people in this country, and 10,000 more reaching retirement age every day, we cannot afford financial predators or practices that victimize our elder citizens. CFPB has teamed up with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to launch Money Smart for Older Adults—Prevent Financial Exploitation. This program trains-the-trainer to prevent common scams and teaches you to spot other types of elder financial exploitation.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Suspicious Activity Report
Source: PDF
Content Type: The SAR Activity Review—Trends, Tips & Issues is a product of continual dialogue and collaboration among the nation’s financial institutions, law enforcement officials and regulatory agencies to provide meaningful information about the preparation, use and value of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) and other FinCEN reports filed by financial institutions.

A consumer handbook on response to identity theft.
Source: FTC
Content Type: pdf
A consumer handbook on response to identity theft. Several states have used this to develop consumer self help websites for identity theft, examples can be found at Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington.

BITS Round Table At Risk Adult Training
Source: Financial Services Round Table
Content Type: pdf
The Financial Services Round Table has developed a training curriculum for financial services providers on financial exploitation and fraud. The program is available for training financial services staff and coverers community services, types of exploitation and fraud, how to spot them, and how to respond. In addition the materials include consumer education on financial literacy and protecting oneself from exploitation and fraud.

GAO report on Combating Elder Financial Exploitation
Source: GAO
Content Type: pdf
November 2012 report on GAO examination of issues and resources relating to financial exploitation of older Americans.

Flyer - The Cost of Stealing from Grandma
Source: Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services
Content Type: PDF
Sample one page flyer on the cost of financial exploitation. Excellent model for state specific flyers on financial exploitation.

A study of the cost of Financial Exploitation of seniors in Utah in 2010
Source: Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services
Content Type: PDF
Results of a groundbreaking study of the cost of financial exploitation. Out of the 80 cases reviewed, $7,704,729 was lost due to stealing seniors’ assets. The loss to Medicaid could potentially be $884,464. The amount stolen from seniors that could be either a loss to the senior or a subsequent loss to financial institutions is $6,820,265.

The MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse 2011
Source: Met Life
Content Type: PDF
Elder financial abuse continues to decimate incomes both great and small, engenders health care inequities, fractures families, reduces available health care options, and increases rates of mental health issues among elders. Elder financial abuse invariably results in losses of human rights and dignity. Despite growing public awareness from a parade of high-profile financial abuse victims, it remains underreported, under-recognized, and under-prosecuted.

Flyer: The Cost of Stealing from Grandma
Source: Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services
Content Type: PDF
Sample one page flyer on the cost of financial exploitation. Excellent model for state specific flyers on financial exploitation.

Ask the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Source: CFPB
Content Type: Interactive Q&A Website
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Ask CFPB, is an interactive online tool that will help consumers find answers to their basic financial questions. Consumers often can't easily sift through all the information out there to find unbiased answers to their questions about financial products and services. We want to help them find information they can trust, so they can make better informed decisions. Ask CFPB lets consumers find answers by searching, or by navigating by category, like “Credit Card” or “Mortgage,” or topic, like “fees” or “closing.”

The MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse Crimes of Occasion, Desperation, and Predation Against America's Elders
Source: Met Life
Content Type: PDF report
The study is a follow-up of MetLife’s 2009 "Broken Trust: Elders, Family, and Finances" and examines the prevalence and impact of elder financial abuse in America today. It demonstrates how these crimes continue to decimate incomes, impact the health and well-being of its victims, and fracture families. Yet it still is underreported, under-recognized, and under-prosecuted.

AARP Report on Protecting Older Investors: The Challenge of Diminished Capacity
Source: AARP Public Policy
Content Type: Report
Investors with diminished capacity are at risk for financial exploitation. Financial professionals must be equipped to respond appropriately when a client signals that he or she may lack the capacity to made financial decisions. This report shares original research findings about current financial services industry practices and protocols to address diminished capacity-and gaps in knowledge, training and strategies to protect older investors. It includes key recommendations for stakeholders and policy makers.

Crimes of Occasion, Desperation, and Predation Against America’s Elders
Source: MetLife and NCPEA
Content Type: PDF study
Crimes of Occasion, Desperation, and Predation Against America’s Elders The study is a follow-up of MetLife’s 2009 “Broken Trust: Elders, Family, and Finances” and examines the prevalence and impact of elder financial abuse in America today. It demonstrates how these crimes continue to decimate incomes, impact the health and well-being of its victims, and fracture families. Yet it still is underreported, under-recognized, and under-prosecuted.

Work at home scams [Español]
Source: National Center on Elder Abuse
Content Type: Brochure
This brochure advises consumers interested in work-at-home opportunities (including medical billing, envelope stuffing, and craft or assembly work) to research these offers carefully.

The role of Financial Institutions in Protecting the Elderly and Vulnerable from Financial Exploitation and Fraud
Source: BITS Financial Services Roundtable
Content Type: Research Report
This paper, Protecting the Elderly and Vulnerable from Financial Fraud and Exploitation, is designed to address special needs for which financial institutions are uniquely suited to assist. The paper provides information to support the implementation or improvement of a financial institution’s internal program for education and awareness about abuse of, and exploitation against, the elderly and vulnerable (vulnerable adults). For purposes of this paper, vulnerable adults includes those either over the age of 60–65, depending on the state, or disabled individuals over the age of 18. Often, vulnerable adults lack the physical or mental capability to care for themselves.

Power of Attorney Abuse: What States Can Do About It.
Source: American Association of Retired Persons Public Policy Institute and American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging.
Content Type: Research Report
The report explores the problem of power of attorney abuse and how state legislatures can protect vulnerable adults and compares the abuse-related provisions of the new Uniform Power of Attorney Act with provisions in state power of attorney laws.