Indicators of financial exploitation of the elderly include notices of unpaid bills, termination of utilities, missing valuables, and unexplained changes to wills or other estate documents, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association. Additional indicators include checks written to "cash," transferring assets to a new friend or family member without an explanation, and warnings of liens or foreclosure.
Financial exploitation occurs when individuals take or misuse an elderly person's assets for their own gain, depriving the elderly person of resources for his own needs, states the National Adult Protection Services Association. In many cases, seniors don't know about the exploitation.
Exploitation occurs in a number of ways, explains the National Adult Protective Services Association. Unscrupulous friends or family members may steal money or property, including medication, cash or other valuables. Sometimes individuals falsify records to gain access to assets, such as forging checks or changing access to financial accounts.
Scam artists posing as businesses also prey on the elderly, says the National Adult Protective Services Association. Popular scams involve selling inappropriate insurance, not performing work on the home after prepayment, bogus investment opportunities and fraudulent mortgage schemes. Email "phishing" often targets the elderly, who may unwittingly give out their bank account passwords or additional private information.