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What is Financial Exploitation?

Financial exploitation, sometimes called financial abuse,  is the illegal or otherwise  unauthorised use or taking of the property or resources of a vulnerable person.  Some organizations limits use of the term to the context of elder financial abuse, but in our experience, financial exploitation also frequently involves the taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of children, indivuals suffering from depression or other mental illness, individuals with physcial disabilities, and individuals who suffer from addictions.  


Financial exploitation appears in many forms.  It  can involve changes to  wills, trusts, powers of attorneys, deeds or financial accounts procured by fraud, trickery or the exercise of undue influence. 

In some instances,  financial exploitation involves the theft of benefit checks, and counterfeiting of signatures.  Frequently, the financial exploitation involves the theft of everything of value owned by the victim, incuding homes, retirement accounts, social security income, land, and even businesses.  

Financial exploitation often involves the direct participation or complicity of trust attorneys, accountants, bankers, financial advisors, and other professionals.

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