Cheshire East
Safeguarding Adults Board

Scams and fraud

Financial abuse

Financial abuse can take many different forms, for example; fraud, theft, deception, false accounting, exploitation or pressure in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions.

The abuser could be a family member, friend or new ‘best friend’, carer, work colleague, person in authority, a rogue trader or bogus caller. They may be career criminals or just opportunists. The chances are they will prey on adults at risk. These people may be experiencing hardship, loneliness, recently lost a partner, they may be socially isolated or have some sort of cognitive impairment.

The level of abuse could be a few pounds a week to thousands, but it is still abuse. Some victims may not know they are a victim, some may be complicit as the abuser is their only contact with the outside world and they are dependent on them. Victims are quite often unaware of who to report their abuser to or are too scared of the repercussions. Whatever their situation, the victim needs to be supported.

Indicators of financial abuse

  • high usage of cheque books
  • large withdrawals from bank accounts
  • unexplained withdrawals or transfers from accounts
  • basic requirements being neglected – utility bills, food, clothes or hygiene
  • warning letters for payments of bills
  • changes in deeds or ownership of property
  • change in wills
  • repairs or maintenance to property costing excessive amounts
  • refusal to be allowed into a property, where there had not been an issue previously
  • reluctance to accept care services
  • purchase of items that the individual does not require or possess

If you believe you are a victim of financial abuse or you suspect or know someone who is, please report it to us.

Resources and help to stay safe