Financial exploitation cases can take many different forms, but they often involve several key elements.  For example, deception, manipulation, and misappropriation of assets.

Most Common Types

The following are some of the most common types of financial exploitation cases:

  1. Fraudulent Investment Scheme: This occurs when an individual or multiple individuals manipulate a victim into investing in a fraudulent business or scheme, including a Ponzi scheme or a pyramid scheme.  Often, the fraudsters promise the victim high returns on their investment.  However, the money is simply being used to pay earlier investors and is not actually generating profits.

  2. Misappropriation: Involves the taking of assets from an elderly person by someone they trust, such as a family member or caregiver, or even a stranger.  Often, the victim may have limited cognitive abilities or may be isolated from family and friends, making them more vulnerable to financial abuse.

  3. Embezzlement: When an individual who has been entrusted with managing the finances of another person, such as an attorney, financial advisor, or estate executor, misuses their authority to take an older adult’s funds or assets for their own benefit.

  4. Identity Theft: This may occur when an individual steals another person’s personal and financial information.  In this case, they may make unauthorized transactions, open new credit accounts, or apply for loans in their name.

Red Flags

For a list of common red flags that may indicate that financial exploitation is taking place, click here.