Identifying and Preventing Elder Financial Abuse
Elder Financial Abuse
Elder financial abuse is any financial misconduct suffered by a senior caused by someone they depend on and trust.
Instead of an isolated incident, it may have occurred in various instances over a period of time and can take many forms.
More Information on Elder Financial Abuse
A vulnerable and detrimentally affected customer is a warning sign of improper conduct. Our team will carry out further investigation if there are more key indicators. These indicators include:
? The customer is confused about where their money goes.
? A family member, a friend, or a third party attempts to or acts on behalf of the client without authority to do so.
? Another person manages a supposedly capable senior’s finances.
? A reluctant customer in answering enquiries or giving information.
? Confusion over the account despite clear explanation.
? Lack of medical care, even though the customer has enough funds to pay for it.
? Indications of misuse of an Enduring Power of Attorney, or Guardianship and Administration order, to take over an older person’s financial affairs to their detriment.
? Notification that mail is no longer being delivered to the customer’s home.
? Another occupant lives in the residence supposedly mooching off the customer.
? Funds are drawn without the customer’s desire to do so.
? The purpose for the loan is not satisfactory for customer type or will not fulfill the objectives;
? Tampered or clearly edited financial documents;
? Requests for the funds to be deposited to a third party account;
? Large or unusual financial transactions;
? Application handling by third party with little to no involvement by primary applicant.
? Outside of the borrower involvement for cash reserve access or redraw access outside of the initial indicated use of funds;
? Inconsistent activity from the account to the original purpose of the loan;
? At any time the borrower being unaware of changes or access to the account;
? Signatures that do not resemble the borrowers signature
In case of a language barrier during the application process, an appropriate assistance will be offered from our network of mortgage brokers.
It also serves as a precautionary measure in detecting and preventing elder abuse.
This process takes place by conducting a private discussion directly with the customer.
Step 1 – Private Discussion
The private discussion is with the customer only and handled by an ASAG team member. All points from the discussion regarding concerns are documented. Any ‘key indicators’ are noted regarding any third-party involvement.
Step 2 – Escalation
Proceeding Step 1, confirmed abuse cases are escalated to senior management. At this point ASAG will:
? Delay any release of funds;
? Cease any approvals on the loan;
– Report any incidents to the authorities and request a visit from a police welfare if the customer cannot be contacted;
? Notify protective agencies such as Public Advocates i f there has been an abuse of Guardianship and Administration, or Power of Attorney order;
? Request assistance from other family members or emergency contacts on file;
? Request a medical certificate confirming the capacity of the customer.
If a case of vulnerability is identified, a ‘care flag’ will be noted on our system to make sure the right approach will be taken.
Our application form is designed to collect all information from the applicant to ensure that we know exactly who we are talking to but also to provide as much information around ASAG and out products as possible in a variety of methods to ensure our messages are delivered.
As a non-negotiable ASAG will at all times require direct communication to the applicant. As we know quite well the demographic that requires ASAG services may also require support in the application process, it is still a requirement that we deal at times directly with the applicant ourselves.
We will take the required steps to ensure a complete understanding of the information supplied around the product. But ASAG also takes further steps in requiring all applicants to seek professional advice regarding the product before finalisation.
Financial Abuse – Elder Assist
1800 ELDERHelp (1800 353 374).
Memory Loss – Dementia Australia
1800 100 500
Financial Difficulty – National Debt Helpline
1800 007 007
Crisis Support – Lifeline
13 11 14