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FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION. WHO DO YOU TRUST?. PRESENTED BY THE . Post Office Box 1256 Columbia, TN 38401 931-380-2565 Fax: 931-380-2566 Email: FACTS. Persons 60+ are the fastest growing segment of the population

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financial exploitation



presented by the

Post Office Box 1256

Columbia, TN 38401


Fax: 931-380-2566


  • Persons 60+ are the fastest growing segment of the population
  • Persons 50 + years own about 70% of the total net worth in the US
  • 1 in 4 Seniors will be a victim of a financial crime
two basic types of financial crimes
  • FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION isusually committed by family, friends, and other relatives.
  • FRAUD is usually committed by strangers and there are hundreds of types of frauds.
types of influence
Types of Influence
  • Three Concepts
    • Mental Capacity
    • Consent
    • Undue Influence
financial exploitation6
Financial Exploitation
  • Tennessee state law defines financial exploitation as the improper use by a caretaker of funds, which have been paid by a governmental agency to an adult or to the caretaker for the use or care of the adult.[10]
  • However, outside of Tennessee, a more widely accepted definition of financial exploitation is misuse of any type of funds, property, or valuables for personal advantage or profit, to the disadvantage of the elder or disabled adult.
indicators of financial exploitation
Indicators of Financial Exploitation
  • A recent acquaintance expresses an interest in finances, promises to provide care, or ingratiates with the elder or disabled adult.
  • When a relative or caregiver
    • has no visible means of support and is overly interested in the elder or disabled adult's financial affairs.
    • expresses concern over the cost of caring for the elder or disabled adult, or is reluctant to spend money for needed medical treatment.
    • isolates the elder or disabled adult, makes excuses when friends or family call or visit, and does not give the elder or disabled adult messages.
    • gives implausible explanations about finances, and the elder/disabled adult is unaware of or unable to explain the arrangements made.
indicators of financial exploitation8
Indicators of Financial Exploitation
  • The utility and other bills are not being paid
  • Checking account and credit card statements are sent to a relative or caregiver and are not accessible to the elder or disabled adult.
  • At the bank, the elder or disabled adult is accompanied by a relative or caregiver who refuses to let the elder or disabled adult speak for him- or herself, and/or the elder or disabled adult appears nervous or afraid of the person accompanying him or her.
  • The elder or disabled adult is concerned or confused about missing funds.
indicators of financial exploitation9
Indicators of Financial Exploitation
  • There are suspicious signatures on the elder or disabled adult's checks, or the elder or disabled adult signs checks and another party fills in the payee and amount sections.
  • There is an unusual amount of banking activity, particularly just after joint accounts are set up or someone new starts helping with the elder or disabled adult's finances.
  • A will, power of attorney, or other legal document is drafted, but the elder or disabled adult does not understand its implications.
offender characteristics
Offender Characteristics
  • Two Categories
    • Those who take advantage of opportunities; usually have low self-esteem, Abuse of drugs/alcohol, and/or overwhelmed/stressed
    • Those who target their victims; usually establish power and control over victim and then obtain complete control of their assets
three general categories of offenders
Three general categories of Offenders
  • Adult children, grandchildren, and other relatives
  • Professional Caregivers- home health
  • Close friends and others in a position of trust
reasons that victims do not report
Reasons that Victims Do Not Report
  • Victims often do not report exploitation crimes to the authorities because of many reasons:
    • feel ashamed
    • fear of losing the service of the offender
    • fear of being placed in a nursing home
    • Unaware of the available resources and assistance
    • does not want to punish the offender
    • believe they are partially to blame
    • sometimes are unaware they are being victimized
pseudo bank examiner fraud
Pseudo Bank Examiner Fraud
  • This type of fraud begins when someone calls your home, identifies himself as a bank examiner, and says he needs your help to apprehend an employee, usually a teller, suspected of theft. You are asked to withdraw a specified amount of cash from your account. The caller says that a representative will come to your home, pick up the money, and redeposit it in your account to test the employee’s honesty. He explains that the deposit must be in cash so that serial numbers on the bills can be checked. But once you give your money over to the “examiner,” you never see it again.
  • Never turn large sums of cash over to anyone, especially a stranger. If you are approached by a so-called bank examiner or bank representative, always call your bank immediately to verify and alert them.
some types of financial exploitation
government funds
Government Funds
  • Senior is unable to remember financial transactions or paperwork, and/or is concerned or confused about missing funds
  • Senior appears to be neglected or receiving insufficient care and/or is not allowed to speak or make own decisions
  • An increase in withdrawals, banking activity and branch visits
  • An acquaintance appears too interested in the senior’s finances
joint bank accounts
Joint Bank Accounts
  • Bank statements are diverted to the offenders address
  • Balances greatly decrease and/or start having returned checks and overdraft charges during first few months of being a “joint” account
  • An increase in withdrawals, banking activity and branch visits and/or large withdrawal or transfer from recent opened joint accounts
  • Victim is not allowed to speak or make own decisions
  • A legal document is drafted, but the elder or disabled adult does not understand its implications
deed title transfers
Deed/Title transfers
  • Victim signs the deed to his or her home over to a person whom they have only known a short time.
  • Victim is forced, tricked, or coerced to part with resources or to sign over property.
  • A legal document is drafted, but the elder or disabled adult does not understand its implications.
durable power of attorney
Durable/Power of Attorney
  • Victim appears to be neglected or receiving insufficient care.
  • Victim is not allowed to speak or make own decisions.
  • The elder or disabled adult's placement, care, or possessions are inconsistent with the size of his or her estate.
  • A power of attorney is drafted, but the elder or disabled adult does not understand its implications.
  • Victim is isolated and not allowed access to his or her financial information.
  • T.C.A. 34-6-109. Powers of an attorney in fact. An attorney in fact shall have same powers as the principal and the application of such powers by the attorney in fact shall be in the principals’ best interest and on behalf of the principal. An attorney in fact misuses his or her powers when decisions or transactions are made that benefit the attorney in fact and are to the detriment of the elder or disabled adult or uses the power for purposes other than what is intended.
living trusts wills
Living Trusts & Wills
  • Victim alters his or her will numerous times, each time changing the executor/beneficiary.
  • A legal document is drafted, but the elder or disabled adult does not understand its implications.
protect yourself from exploitation
  • Be suspicious of repeated requests for money from friends and relatives.
  • Be very careful and seek an attorney’s advice when selecting someone to appoint over your property and finances or any other financial agreements.
  • Be suspicious of anyone offering to help you manage your finances or to provide you long term care in exchange for money, property or companionship.
  • The act of obtaining possession or control of a person’s assets through deceit, trickery, hoax, or other deceptions with the intent of obstructing the person’s access to said assets.
  • Further, fraud involves swindling by deception, trickery, or misrepresentation. Since there are numerous forms of fraud, this guide will cover some types which most commonly affect the elderly and disabled.
indicators of a fraud
  • A promise that you can win, make, or borrow money easily.
  • A demand that you act immediately or else miss out on a great opportunity.
  • A refusal to send you written information before you agree to buy or donate.
  • An attempt to scare you into buying something.
  • An insistence that you wire money or have a courier pick up your payment.
  • A refusal to stop calling after you have asked not to be called again.
offender characteristics24
Offender Characteristics
  • Usually strangers
  • Identify a target/victim
  • Use manipulation, deceit, or other trickery
  • Plays on the emotions of the victims
some types of fraud
telemarketing mail fraud
Telemarketing & Mail Fraud
  • Victim receives numerous offers by mail of fake contests, prizes, lotteries, chain letters, insurance deals, land and advance free-selling swindles, charity schemes, and promotions for fake health cures.
  • Victim receives numerous calls from marketers offering to “fix” bad credit, get back stolen money, or fantastically low prices on merchandise.
fraudulent telemarketers
Fraudulent Telemarketers
  • Watch out for fraudulent telemarketers! They may start with a postcard promising cash and prizes if you call an “800” or “900” number. If you do it, a friendly voice will ask for your credit card number to “verify” your identity, then come the high-pressure tactics to get you to buy merchandise with your credit card. Later, you may be billed several times, or you may never receive the merchandise at all.
  • If you do receive the merchandise, it may not be what you expected or you may feel that the price you paid was highly inflated. By that time, it is often difficult and time consuming to return the item and receive credit.
  • To protect yourself, ask for written information on products or services offered before you order them.
fake orders for magazine subscriptions
Fake Orders for Magazine Subscriptions
  • People selling magazine subscriptions may “offer” an extremely low price which is only available if you pay with a credit card. Repeatedly, terms like “verification,” “identification,” or “process” will be used to try to get you to reveal your credit card number. Once you give it, the con artist will use the number to place fake orders.
  • Never give anyone your credit card number on the phone unless you made the call to place an order or to make a donation. Do not make a donation to an unknown charity. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the organization complies with their standards.
fake contests
Fake Contests
  • Fake contests are a prevalent form of mail fraud. You get a notice saying you have won a “free” trip, a TV, or even a car. To redeem your prize, you should send “X” number of dollars or bring the money to a certain place. In reality, prizes frequently do not exist, or if they do, only a very small number of them will be awarded.
  • Watch out for prizes that you have to pay for. Carefully examine any letters that look official or urgent.
home auto repair fraud
Home & Auto Repair Fraud
  • Repair work not completed, or is substandard work that needs correcting.
  • Victim is approached with offers of home repair for a discounted price.
  • Victim is approached with offers to pave their driveway for a small fee.
  • Victim’s contract is written in very small, illegible print, and the contractor’s name is not clearly visible.
  • Victim is billed for repairs to their vehicle that were not requested.
home repair
Home Repair
  • This con game is spreading rapidly and will continue to do so as dwellings and their owners both grow older.
  • Someone comes to the door and says there is a problem with your house — roofing, siding, electrical, driveway, whatever. They offer to fix the problem quickly at what seems like a reasonable cost. Once they have begun the work, however, major problems suddenly turn up that will cost more than the original estimate. Often the “experts” have created the damage themselves.
  • Before you let anyone work on your house, be sure to get several estimates for the repair. Ask for references.
  • When buying from door-to-door salespeople, you have certain protections under the Federal Trade Commission’s “cooling off” rule. This rule gives you three business days to change your mind and to cancel any purchase of $25 or more that you made from your home or anywhere other than the seller’s normal place of business.
insurance fraud
Insurance Fraud
  • A victim with multiple unnecessary insurance policies.
  • Approached by a salesperson to buy duplicate insurance policies.
  • A victim pays on many insurance policies and can not afford to pay for basic needs.
investment fraud
Investment Fraud
  • Victim invests in the stock of a company that does not exist.
  • Victim purchases a CD, or Certificate of Deposit, but the company in which the person has invested is allowed to redeem it.
  • Victim is denied a loan because of age or fixed income status.
investment frauds
Investment Frauds
  • In areas with a high concentration of senior citizens, investment frauds are usually carried out on a hit-and-run basis. These scams may involve the selling of coins, oil and gas leases, precious metals, and gemstones. The caller will flatter you as a “smart investor” who can recognize a good deal, then confide that if you sign up quickly you can get in on a great “opportunity.” Remember these salespersons are professionals and gifted at getting people to believe them.
  • Also, consider that there are fees in most legitimate investment markets for every transaction—when you buy and when you sell. These fees can add up, especially if you have given your permission to automatically negotiate if the market seems to be changing. When someone calls with an investment opportunity, get the name, address, and phone number of the company. Request references and written materials. Always read carefully any forms before signing. Check with the Better Business Bureau, the Bureau of Consumer Protection, or perhaps the securities dealer at your bank or investment firm.
charity fraud
Charity Fraud
  • Victim receives frequent calls or direct mail requesting donations.
  • Victim makes lots of payments to charities that are not well known.
  • Victim is having difficulty paying for regular expenses, even though there has been no change in income.
funeral chasers
Funeral Chasers
  • In this situation, funeral chasers visit the family of a recently deceased person, claiming that the decedent made a down payment on merchandise which is scheduled for delivery the next day, but there’s a balance due. They mention facts about the decedent designed to assure the family that the collector is legitimate. However, such facts are easily found in obituary columns and elsewhere. At times like these, family members may be easy to convince, and the so-called balance due often is paid.
  • Try not to make quick decisions under emotional or stressful conditions. Take time to think. Ask to see a receipt or order signed by the deceased.
identity theft
Identity Theft
  • Victim receives account statements from unknown creditors.
  • Victim’s credit report shows lines of credit that the client was not aware existed.
stolen checks
Stolen Checks
  • A major concern for the elderly is the theft of checks from mailboxes and mail slots. Since the mail carrier delivers social security checks on the same day of each month, these and other predictable, routine payments are easy prey for theft. Stolen checks are easily turned into cash by thieves who know where to go and what to do.
  • The Social Security Administration strongly encourages direct deposit of checks. Seventy-five percent of those receiving social security benefits use direct deposit.
  • If you have any regularly scheduled payments, you should seriously consider direct deposit. Federal Reserve Banks and financial institutions process direct deposit transactions electronically through a national automated system. Contact your financial institution about payments that are eligible.
methods of the offender
  • Making the senior or disabled person dependent on them for care and basic needs.
  • Gaining a position of trust over the senior or disabled person.
  • Conning the senior or disabled person into signing legal documents such as wills, powers of attorney, banking account, etc..
  • Telling the victim stories to get sympathy in order to obtain either a loan or gift of cash.
  • Taking out loans and credit cards in the victim’s name.
protect yourself from fraud
  • Thoroughly examine, investigate, and verify any documents you are asked to sign
  • Do not allow strangers in your home for any reason & do not deal with anyone who comes to your home offering to do any type of home repair work
  • Report any suspicious incidents or persons to law enforcement and other proper authorities
  • Register yourself on the Do Not Call & Do Not Mail Lists
fraud financial crimes activities
Fraud & Financial Crimes Activities


  • October Awareness Month
  • Free guide on “Financial Crimes Against Our Seniors”
  • Free education at your local Senior Citizen Center
  • Free education for bank employees