Financial abuse

Recognising financial abuse

Financial abuse occurs when someone manipulates another person’s decision-making, or controls access to their money or property. A person can be financially abused in many different ways.

Signs to look out for include a person who:
  • Controls your access to your money, for example they may restrict your access to accounts, cash, or credit cards.
  • Uses your money without your knowledge or consent, such as forging your signature on cheques or using your credit card.
  • Signs legal documents by forging or by forcing you to sign documents.
  • Threatens or punishes you which can including making you feel guilty, isolating you or making you feel you can’t be trusted with money.
Visit moneysmart.com.au to find out more information about what to look for.
Preventing financial abuse

You can help protect yourself from financial abuse in a number of ways:
  • Learn about security and fraud protection, including how to recognise scams.
  • Stay in touch with people you trust and do not be afraid to talk about concerns you have.
  • Never sign documents you don’t understand, and seek independent and confidential legal or financial advice if you are unsure.
  • Open your own mail and store documents and account details in a safe and secure place.
  • Check your bank and credit card statement for unauthorised transactions. Contact us if you need help doing this.
  • Check that the person who manages your money is doing it in your best interests. You can do this by asking somebody you trust, talking to a financial planner or by calling an available helpline. For more information about available helplines see the ‘Where to find help’ section below.
Elder financial abuse

Financial abuse can happen to anyone, but some people, like the elderly, or people with a disability, are at greater risk because they are often dependent on family members or other people for their day to day care. 
 
Financial elder abuse may be committed by people known to an elderly person or by strangers who befriend them. Institutions can also commit financial abuse. It may involve a number of actions over a period of time, not just an isolated incident.

The Australian Government’s national elder abuse help line can help you to access services and find information specific to elder financial abuse. Call 1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374) line (free call) or visit aifs.gov.au/elder-abuse-support-services.

If you have concerns about any aspect of your aged care service, or a loved ones, you can visit the My Aged Care website to access information on making a complaint.

Where to find help

Contact us

If you would like more information about financial abuse or would like to talk confidentially about your situation you can get in contact with one of our trained staff via a number of ways:

For more options visit our Contact page.

National Elder Abuse Help Line

Phone: 1800 ElderHelp (1800 353 374)

My Aged Care

My Aged Care can help with aged care specific support and complaints.

Phone: 1800 200 422

Website: www.myagedcare.gov.au/contact-us/complaints

Moneysmart

For detailed information about financial abuse signs and prevention visit the Australian Government’s Moneysmart website. You can also find a list of organisations who offer free and confidential support via this page.

More help

If you need help with your financial situation we're here for you.

Get in touch

OR call 13 14 22 to speak to our team available 24/7.