Financial or material abuse

Financial or material abuse involves the control of money or resources, and is done to limit a person's freedom.

Examples of this can include: 

  • theft
  • fraud
  • scams including internet and doorstep crime
  • coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions
  • misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits

Financial abuse toolkit

We have created a Financial Abuse toolkit to help you identify the warning signs and risks of financial abuse, and how to formally report it.

Warning signs

Possible warning signs may include: 

  • missing personal possessions
  • unexplained lack of money or inability to maintain lifestyle
  • unexplained withdrawal of funds from accounts
  • power of attorney or lasting power of attorney (LPA) being obtained after the person has ceased to have mental capacity
  • failure to register an LPA after the person has ceased to have mental capacity to manage their finances, so that it appears that they are continuing to do so
  • lack of cooperation or contact with the person allocated to manage financial affairs 
  • unusual interest in the family or carer in the assets of the person
  • Signs of financial hardship in cases where the person’s financial affairs are being managed by a court appointed deputy, attorney or LPA
  • recent changes in deeds or title to property
  • rent arrears and eviction notices
  • lack of clear financial accounts held by a care home or service
  • failure to provide receipts for shopping or other financial transactions carried out on behalf of the person
  • disparity between the person’s living conditions and their financial resources, e.g. insufficient food in the house
  • unnecessary property repairs

More information

For more information about scams, or to report abuse or crime by a business, please see the council's information on Trading Standards.