It's National Safeguarding Adults Week and we want to show our support by promoting awareness of various safeguarding issues. Today, our focus is on financial abuse.
One fifth of the UK's population are reported to have experienced some form of financial abuse. It is a complex issue, which can have devastating and long lasting consequences, such as the abused being unable to buy food for themselves or family, experiencing significant debt issues or becoming homeless.
What is financial abuse?
Ultimately, financial abuse is a way of controlling a person or people’s ability to acquire, use and maintain their own money and resources. This abuse can be perpetrated by family members, spouses, carers or by anyone in a position of power or trust.
Examples of financial abuse include:
- Stealing money from a partner, family member or vulnerable or older person
- Preventing a person from accessing joint or sole bank accounts
- Stopping a partner from working
- Destroying household goods or property so they have to be replaced
- Running up debt in another person’s name, either through cohesion or fraudulent means
- Cohesion to change legal documentation, such as wills
- Denying a person access to money for basic necessities, such as food.
Who is most at risk of financial abuse?
People who most commonly experience financial abuse include:
- Women experiencing domestic abuse and violence
- Older people, aged 65 and over
- People with mental health conditions
- People who have learning difficulties
Although these groups are more vulnerable to financial abuse, it can happen to anyone. This is why it is vital that everyone is able to recognise the warning signs of financial abuse and know how to report their concerns.
What does financial abuse look like?
Although financial abuse can be carried out in a number of ways, there are some common signs we can look out for. If you notice a person, or people, affected by any of the following, they could be experiencing financial abuse:
- Unpaid bills
- Unexplained shortage of money
- Increasing debts
- Rarely or never left alone and spoken for by another person
- Wearing old or considerably worn clothing or footwear
How can I help prevent financial abuse?
Financial abuse is a Safeguarding concern and reporting it is everyone’s responsibility. To get help for someone being financial abused report your concerns to:
Manchester Contact Centre
Wenlock Way Offices, Wenlock Way, Manchester M12 5DH
Telephone: 0161 234 5001 (open 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
SMS Text: 07860 003160
Tameside Adult Services
Ashton Primary Care Centre, Old St, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 7SR
Telephone Number: 0161 342 2400
You can also get advice on reporting financial abuse by contacting our Tenancy Support Team here, through Facebook or by calling 0161 448 4200. For more information on National Safeguarding Adults Week, click here.
By working together, we can help to end financial abuse for good.