Preventing Financial Exploitation of Adults. How Adult Protective Services and Financial Institutions Can Work Together

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1 Preventing Financial Exploitation of Adults How Adult Protective Services and Financial Institutions Can Work Together 1

2 Exploitation Section 63.2 of the Code of Virginia defines exploitation as: Illegal use of an incapacitated adult or his resources for another s profit or advantage 2

3 Financial Exploitation Mishandling, fraud or theft of income, money, accounts, assets, or property Accomplished by means of trickery, intimidation, or coercion 3

4 Statistics about Financial Exploitation Nationally only 1 in 25 cases of financial exploitation are reported* In state fiscal year 2009, Virginia Adult Protective Services workers substantiated 756 cases of financial exploitation *Source: National Center on Elder Abuse 4

5 Indicators of Financial Exploitation Missing documents Suspicious activity on credit cards Forged or suspicious signature(s) on documents Changes to financial documents, particularly if the adult is confused or the documents favor a new acquaintance 5

6 Indicators of Financial Exploitation Erratic, unusual, or uncharacteristic financial activity or activity that is inconsistent with the adult s ability New acquaintances, particularly those who take up residence with the adult 6

7 Indicators of Financial Exploitation A power of attorney is executed by a confused adult Redirected mail Failure to receive services that have been paid for Overcharged for services 7

8 The Financial Exploitation Victim May: Give implausible explanations about what he/she is doing with his/her money Be unaware of his/her financial arrangements Be hesitant to discuss financial matters Be concerned about missing funds in his/her account 8

9 The Financial Exploitation Victim May: Be prohibited from speaking to others or making financial decisions Be coerced into withdrawing large amounts of cash or making other transactions Be nervous or afraid of the person accompanying him or her 9

10 The Exploiter May live with the adult May be unemployed May be present during financial transactions Speaks for the adult; doesn t let him or her answer 10

11 The Exploiter Expresses excessive concern about costs or expenses Isolates the adult 11

12 Financial Institutions Virginia law ( ) states that an employee of a financial institution (bank, savings institution, credit union, securities firm or insurance company) may report suspected financial exploitation to the local department of social services or the 24-hour, toll-free APS hotline 12

13 What Can Financial Institutions do to Prevent Financial Exploitation? Learn the reasons for large transactions, frequent withdrawals, and changes in beneficiaries Check authorizations and documentation for others to act on an adult s behalf 13

14 Preventing Financial Exploitation If exploitation is suspected, discuss with a supervisor. Review history and transaction patterns. Determine if the transactions should be processed, stopped, or reported If possible, separate the adult from any companion so that a private conversation can be held with the adult 14

15 Preventing Financial Exploitation Contact Adult Protective Services (APS) if you are concerned about suspected financial exploitation Virginia law provides civil and criminal immunity to anyone who makes an APS report in good faith 15

16 Adult Protective Services (APS) The APS social workers at the local department of social services are responsible for investigating reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals age 60 and older and individuals age who are incapacitated 16

17 APS Response Investigate the report Collaborate with regulatory agencies or law enforcement on the investigation Make a determination if adult needs protective services If services are accepted, provide services to stop exploitation and prevent further exploitation 17

18 APS Response Assist with financial management Link the adult to other support services May pursue guardianship or conservatorship 18

19 Partnering to Stop Financial Exploitation APS workers can provide educational information about financial exploitation to community partners Get to know the APS social workers at your local department of social services before financial exploitation occurs 19

20 Report Financial Exploitation Contact the APS unit at your local department of social services or call the 24-hour, toll-free APS hotline at

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