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I believe the title says it all, someone who is being abused financially, who has their finances, their money either taken from them leaving them in a bad financial way, or someone who is controlling their finances not in their best interest.
I saw a sign at one of the many bus stops in my region and the sign said, “if they control your finances, they control you”.
And it is a very true statement.
One of the most powerful ways someone can be controlled is through their finances. We can see abuse on many levels, physical, mental, sexual, and even these can be broken down into areas such as spouse, child, and even elderly.
Financial abuse is one like other forms of abuse, that may not be easily seen.
What is Financial Abuse?
I have spoke on financial abuse in the past, and written about it on various web sites, and I am not alone in attempting to create awareness of this issue, yet it still seems to linger and be there in many forms.
By definition according to the Care Act of 2014, financial abuse is, “a type of abuse which includes having money or other property stolen, being defrauded, being put under pressure in relation to money or other property and having money or other property misused.”
By definition, financial abuse is using someone else’s money for yourself, and depriving them financially; taking financial advantage of the victim.
Forms of Financial Abuse
Many people think of financial abuse as just taking someone’s money, but it can take on various forms, such as:
- Taking someone’s money from them, either taking their cash, or using their bank card, bank details, credit cards, bank accounts, for yourself.
- The above is a huge form of financial abuse and an include stealing money, either in the form of cash, or through bank accounts and pensions, disability and benefit payments.
- Forcing someone to make poor investments.
- Forcing someone to sell an asset, such as property, or anything of value.
- Tricking or forcing someone to make changes in their Wills, property, inheritances, or other means to leave assets or valuables to others.
As to who may be at risk of financial abuse, it usually is the elderly, or someone who may lack the capacity to be able to handle their own finances. However, it can also be someone who is tricked, or physically threatened and forced into giving up their money and control of it.
As to who may be the abuser, that can be anyone!
It may be someone close to the person being abused, such as a spouse, or family member, or someone who is just an acquaintance, a volunteer to help them, even strangers or Loan Sharks.
The Signs of financial abuse are many, such as a person never having any money, never having access to their own bank accounts, or credit cards or lines of credit. Large or odd purchases on their cards or statements, purchases out of character for the person.
Some Examples of Financial Abuse
One example of financial abuse and one that may be noticeable, is from friends and family, including spouses.
One spouse has no access to joint accounts such as savings or even has a bank card.
One family member or carer seemingly controls an elderly member, or someone’s money, and the person who is being abused looks as though they are in need of clothing or other items.
A victim may be experiencing other forms of abuse at the same time, such as physical, sexual, or psychological abuse.
Loan Sharks use physical threats and abuse to take money, and can take a victims bank card from them each month when the victim gets paid, force them to give the Loan Shark their PIN, and take their money take way.
Financial abuse can be in many forms, have many victims, and be committed by different people.
Some stories of financial abuse are shocking, as are how the victims try to cope and deal with the abuse.