Taking financial advantage of an individual is a despicable act that can rob victims of their independence and ability to afford the basic necessities of life, such as food, rent payments and medicine. It's also a crime and should be reported promptly to law enforcement.
Unfortunately, financial exploitation often goes unreported or is reported long after the damage is done. When that happens, the suspect is far more likely to get away with the crime and move on to other victims. You may know someone - perhaps a friend, family member or loved one - who is potentially vulnerable to financial exploitation.
Here are a few signs to watch for:
The person is making numerous checks or withdrawals for escalating amounts of money.
The person begins to act very secretively. (Con artists often try to isolate their victims to avoid detection by telling the victim not to let anybody know about the calls.)
The person is having sudden problems paying bills or buying food or other necessities.
If you notice any of these signs or suspect someone you know may be a victim of financial exploitation, please contact your nearest law enforcement agency immediately. Then help the victim assemble any financial information or records that could help law enforcement investigate the case and arrest the culprit.