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Man stealing money from another person's pocket

Financial abuse

Financial or material abuse includes:

  • theft

  • fraud

  • internet scamming

  • coercion in relation to an adult's financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions

  • the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Potential indicators of financial or material abuse

It is important not to jump to the wrong conclusions too quickly but the following is a list of possible indicators of financial abuse:

  • sudden inability to pay bills
  • sudden withdrawal of money from an account
  • the person lacks belongings that they can clearly afford
  • lack of receptivity by the person’s relatives to necessary expenditure
  • power of attorney obtained when the person is unable to understand what they are signing
  • extraordinary interest by family members in the vulnerable person’s assets
  • a recent change of deeds of the house or property
  • the main interest of the carer is financial with little regard for the health and welfare of the vulnerable adult
  • the person managing the vulnerable adults’ finances is evasive and uncooperative
  • reluctance to accept care services
  • purchase of items that individual does not require or use
  • personal items going missing
  • and/or unreasonable or inappropriate gifts.

Protect yourself from scams

Scams are schemes to cheat people out of their money. They come in a variety of ways; by post, phone, email, online and sometimes by a knock on the door.

For further information please read the following advice:

National Trading Standards Take a Stand Against Scams (pdf 330kb)

Additional information can also be accessed at:

Friends Against Scams (external website)

National Trading Standards Scams Team - Call Blockers for people with dementia (external website)

Financial Abuse Helpline

Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline

For advice on scams contact:

Tel: 03454 040506

Action Fraud

To download the latest resources visit:

To report scams contact

Tel: 0300 1230 2040

Actionfraud.police.uk (external website)

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