Financial exploitation is a growing problem in our society, especially for vulnerable populations like the elderly and individuals with disabilities.  This form of abuse occurs when someone takes advantage of an individual’s financial assets for their own gain.  Financial exploitation has both short-term and long-term effects on victims.

Financial Loss

Victims can be left without the financial resources they require to meet their basic needs.  Examples of these basic needs are paying for food, housing, and medical expenses.  The financial losses from exploitation can be particularly devastating for elderly individuals. Elderly individuals may have limited means and must rely on their savings to sustain them in their later years.

Emotional Trauma

Financial exploitation can also have a significant emotional impact on victims.  This type of abuse can lead to feelings of shame, embarrassment, and helplessness, especially when the victim realizes they have been taken advantage of by someone they trusted.  The emotional trauma from financial exploitation can lead to depression, anxiety, a loss of independence and self-esteem, and even premature death.

Loss of Trust

Financial exploitation can also erode the victim’s trust in others and make it difficult for them to form new relationships.  This can lead to social isolation, which can further exacerbate the emotional and financial impacts on victims caused by the exploitation.

Difficulty in Recovery

It can be challenging for victims of financial exploitation to recover from the harm caused. For example, it is often difficult to recover stolen funds, and the process of seeking compensation or restitution can be long and complicated.  Additionally, the financial and emotional impact of exploitation can be long-lasting, making it difficult for the victim to recover fully and move forward with their life.  In some cases, financial exploitation can cause a shortened life span, due to the statistical mortality rate increase.