Financial or material abuse

Financial or material abuse – including 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, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Financial abuse is the main form of abuse by the Office of the Public Guardian both amongst adults and children at risk. Financial recorded abuse can occur in isolation, but as research has shown, where there are other forms of abuse, there is likely to be financial abuse occurring. Although this is not always the case, everyone should also be aware of this possibility.

Potential indicators of financial abuse include:

  • change in living conditions;
  • lack of heating, clothing or food;
  • inability to pay bills/unexplained shortage of money;
  • unexplained withdrawals from an account;
  • unexplained loss/misplacement of financial documents;
  • the recent addition of authorised signers on a client or donor’s signature card; or
  • sudden or unexpected changes in a will or other financial documents.