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Preventing Financial Exploitation of Seniors and Disabled Adults in Missouri Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Senior and Disability Services. What Is MOSAFE?. Missourians Stopping Adult Financial Exploitation. MOSAFE Partners. AARP

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Preventing Financial Exploitation of

Seniors and Disabled Adults

in Missouri

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Division of Senior and Disability Services

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  • Missourians

  • Stopping

  • Adult

  • Financial

  • Exploitation

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MOSAFE Partners

  • AARP

  • Missouri Alliance of Area Agencies on Aging

  • Missouri Association of Public Administrators

  • Missouri Bankers Association

  • Missouri Credit Union Association

  • Missouri Independent Bankers Association

  • Missouri Police Chiefs Association

  • Missouri Sheriffs’ Association

  • Office of the Attorney General

  • Office of the Lieutenant Governor

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Goals of MOSAFE

  • Stop attempted or ongoing financial exploitation before funds are exhausted

  • Train employees of financial institutions on how to detect & report

  • Educate consumers & the general public that this is a crime

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What Is Financial Exploitation?

The illegal use of a senior or disabled adult’s resources for another person’s gain or profit.

( 570.145, RSMo )

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Exploitation occurs when:

  • A senior or disabled adult is being charged excessive fees for rent or services.

  • Money or property is stolen by someone in a position of trust.

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Exploitation occurs when:

  • Money or property is obtained by undue influence, fraud, or misrepresentation.

  • A senior or disabled adult’s checks are forged or someone uses a senior or disabled adult’s ATM without consent.

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Exploitation occurs when:

  • Someone such as a Power of Attorney mismanages the senior or disabled adult’s income or assets.

  • A senior or disabled adult’s money is used in any way that does not benefit the senior or disabled adult.

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The Law Applies ToMissourians Who Are:

60 years and older


18-59 with mental or physical disability

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Why MOSAFE Is Needed?

  • Nationally, the percentage of seniors tripled during the past century.

  • Number of MO seniors will more than double in next 25 years.

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Why MOSAFE Is Needed?

  • Seniors become prime targets as the majority of spending power lies with them.

  • In FY’07, the Department received 4,319 reports alleging exploitation… more than twice the number received in FY’05 when MOSAFE first began.

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Victim Characteristics

  • Tends to be isolated, socially or physically.

  • Not necessarily wealthy.

  • May be competent, but have trouble making reasoned decisions regarding finances.

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Victim Characteristics

  • May be dependent on the perpetrator.

  • May suffer from more than one type of abuse or neglect.

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Victim Characteristics

  • May be reluctant to admit that his or her loved one is an abuser.

  • May be afraid to report abuse due to fear or further abuse, loss of independence, or abandonment.

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Two Types of Exploiters

  • People unknown to the senior; i.e.. scam artists.

  • People known to the senior; i.e. family members, acquaintances, and/or fiduciaries.

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Perpetrator Characteristics

  • Has close access to the senior or disabled adult.

  • Tends to be a younger adult male.

  • Tends to be a relative, especially an adult child.

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Family member

Caregiver, could be a relative or someone hired as a caregiver

Independent home repair contractor


Medical professional - home service provider, nurse or aide

Door-to-door salesman

Insurance agent

Possible Perpetrators

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Any Person, Male or Female, From Any Walk of Life Could Exploit You.

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A Senior or Disabled Adult Needs Assistance So They May:

  • Seek advise on financial matters;

  • Assign someone as Power of Attorney; or,

  • Place someone on their bank accounts.

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Financial Advisors

Before doing business with or giving any financial information to a broker or investment advisor…

  • Check with your state securities regulator for information on brokers & brokerage firms.

  • Check all credentials…visit Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website.

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Power of Attorney(POA) A Power of Attorney gives another individual the right to “act as if they were you” … as your “attorney in fact”.

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Convenient legal means to plan for future assistance.

Readily available & executed easily.

Emergency access to money or property


Little or no oversight or accountability.

Provides unlimited access to money or property.

Pros & Cons of a POA

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Make sure the Power of Attorney stipulates…

  • Only transactions benefiting the senior or disabled adult can be conducted.

  • The senior or disabled adult’s money cannot be used for anyone or anything except the senior or disabled adult.

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Make sure the Power of Attorney stipulates…

  • A mandatory accounting of any & all transactions.

  • That the person authorized to be the POA understands the responsibilities & that violation of the POA could result in criminal prosecution for exploitation or theft.

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Joint Bank Accounts

These are governed by the banking industry’s rules & regulations. However, it is generally agreed, that when a person is on a joint account & takes out all of the money, no crime has occurred.

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Who Do I Call?


Department of Health and Senior Services

Elder Abuse Hotline


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Department of Health & Senior Services

  • Maintains the Elder Abuse & Neglect Hotline

  • Mandated to investigate reports of abuse, neglect & financial exploitation statewide

  • Provides Adult Protective Services to seniors & disabled adults, including assistance with obtaining needed resources

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For violations of the Missouri consumer fraud law…call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline1-800-392-8222or

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What Can You Do? Attorney General’s

  • Get specific information

    • Names, dates, times

  • Tell what you saw or heard

    • Help the department understand the situation as you witnessed it.

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Ways to Protect Yourself Attorney General’s

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For a comprehensive listing of the state-wide resources available to help older persons with law-related issues, check this link:

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To Check on a Charity That Has Solicited You…Use the Attorney General’s Website

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Don’t Sign Blank Checks Attorney General’s Website

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Everyone is Allowed One Free Loan.Credit Report Each Year.The only site that allows a FREE credit report is ….OrYou Can Call1-877-322-8228

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More Tips Loan.

  • Keep an inventory of all jewelry.

  • Shred blank checks mailed with credit card statements & other identifying mail.

  • Never leave outgoing mail in box where it can be stolen.

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Other Tips Loan.

  • Never do business with unlicensed contractors.

  • Get caller ID.

  • Have a trusted friend or relative receive duplicate copies of financial statements.