Last week You&Yours (Radio Four) had an interesting article led by a listener who had discovered that over many years his sibling had been withdrawing large amounts of his mother’s money out of her savings account, probably without her knowledge and/or consent. The piece highlighted the difficulties in addressing this kind of financial abuse as the police are often reluctant to get involved with what they perceive to be a family dispute. I spoke to a caller once who had experienced a similar situation – expecting to inherit about £50,000 when his mother died he was disamyed to discover that the savings account was empty. An investigation revealed that five years earlier his sister had taken their mother to the bank and got her name onto her mum’s bank account through what is called a Third Party Mandate. The caller was sure his mother had no idea what this change to her account meant and would have been horrified to learn that it had enabled his sister to tranfer large sums of cash into her own account. Read More
Financial abuse is the most common form of abuse of vulnerable adults and research shows that it is our ability to spot a financial con that is the primary skill we lose when we develop cognitive impairment (memory problems).
So it is no surprise that people are organising themselves to extort money from people who are open to such abuse. However, the paper trail in these cases is often so vague and the abused so confused about the details of the fraud, the police struggle to bring a prosecution. Good news therefore that the Price family ringleaders have been tried, found guilty and sentenced for their role in a £1million scam that involved providing (or rather failing to provide) an odd job service to a number of retired people.
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