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Fraud Prevention

Preventing Financial Abuse

November 30, 2009

In a perfect world, we would not need to discuss financial abuse. Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world. When someone misuses your money, financial resources or property without your consent or understanding, it is financial abuse. Abusers can be family members, caregivers or strangers who befriend you. Abuse can include manipulating you, pressuring or otherwise influencing you to give away your money, property or other valuables to the abuser. Motivations for the abuse include financial problems or greed. Abusers may take advantage of trust, discretion or power that has been given to them. They may have a false sense of entitlement or they may feel that you don’t need all of your money.

To protect yourself from financial abuse:

  • Keep your money at Christian Credit Union and not at home. Automate regular deposits (e.g. Canada Pension Plan) and withdrawals.
  • Keep a list of all property, bank accounts and belongings.
  • Write a plan for the repayment of money before your lend it to a relative or friend.
  • Stay in touch with your friends.
  • Plan ahead. With a lawyer’s help, prepare a will, enduring power of attorney and personal directive for health care. Review these documents periodically to keep them up-to-date. Change them only under careful consideration.
  • Ask a trusted friend or family member to review all documents before signing.

If you are sure you are being financially abused, help is available. You can:

  • Start by calling the police. The police can help you determine if the situation is criminal and can refer you to Victim Services and provide information on other community resources.
  • If you are not sure, confide in someone you trust.
  • Keep a record. Write down what is happening to you. This will serve as a record and may help others assist you.
  • Don’t blame yourself. It’s not your fault. For more information about the help available in your community call the Alberta Family Violence Information Line toll free at 780/403-310-1818 or log on to www.albertaelderabuse.ca.


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