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What are the signs of financial abuse and what to do about it

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The subject of financial abuse may not be addressed often, but it is more common than many people realize. Unfortunately, it often goes unnoticed as the victims either do not notice the abuse themselves or have been too weakened to do anything about it. Spouses in relationships, victimized by their partners, and elderly individuals, victimized by their own family members or others, are most likely to suffer in these cases.

Abakhan&Associates_financial_abuse: Licensed Insolvency Trustee speaking to a couple

Signs to watch out for

Paying attention to other people’s behaviour is important to avoid becoming a victim of financial abuse yourself. Often, someone who suddenly involves themselves in your financial matters or expresses an eager interest in them can lead to finding unwarranted withdrawals or transfers from your bank accounts. Note: fraudulent transactions from a stolen card or number are different; if a person with whom you share your account has taken money without asking, this should be a red flag.

It is also worrisome if someone you have entrusted suggests sharing your bank statements with them, looks at them without your consent, or suggests alterations to any of your important financial contracts, such as wills and mortgages that do not seem to be in your best interest. In particular, beginning to feel fearful of or pressure from someone you have otherwise trusted is a clear sign of financial abuse. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Vancouver can offer assistance on all money matters.

When you are a victim or bystander

It may seem inescapable if you are the one experiencing financial abuse, but it is important to recognize that you are not obligated to stay with them. Enlist the help of family or friends that you trust for support, both financial and physical, and remove yourself from the abusive situation. Improve your education, even if you are limited to taking online courses without the other person’s knowledge, and obtain a job you can perform secretly (whether from home or by creating an excuse to leave the house).

If possible, keep a small amount of money each time you receive some to save in a private bank account and start building your credit by obtaining a secured car and keeping it with a trusted friend or family member, locked away for safety. Lastly, government assistance can also help by providing such accommodations as community housing and food stamps.

Further tips to counteract financial abuse

Recognizing when someone else is a victim of financial abuse may be even more difficult than recognizing it for yourself. However, whether you are the one being victimized or you spot someone else suffering at the hands of someone they love, there are helpful tips you can adopt or impart. If significant issues come up, consult with a lawyer to represent you. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is another helpful professional on whom you can rely—particularly for financial advice and how to handle related abuse.

Online banking with automatic payments to cover your bills is another effective way to ensure your finances are not influenced by someone else or affected if, say, you experience health problems. Keep track of any money you loan out or gift to another individual at your own will, including to whom, how much, and when.

Contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in the Lower Mainland

If you are looking for financial advice, contact the Licensed Insolvency Trustees at Abakhan & Associates for help today. Our professionals can help you become financially independent.

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