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How to spot financial abuse

Jo Armstrong

Written by Jo Armstrong, marketing adviser

Financial abuse is when someone you know attempts to steal or control your finances.

Victims might not want to report their abusers as they don’t want to lose care and support, or report a friend or partner. Read on for help and support if you, or someone you know is in this situation.

How can I tell if I'm a victim of financial abuse? 

There are a few signs you can look out for:

  1. You’re told that you’re ‘not allowed’ to talk about your finances with anybody other than the friend or partner who is helping you manage your money
  2. Your friend or partner is limiting access to your own money and controlling what you spend
  3. You notice unexplained withdrawals or an increase in bank account activity that you can’t explain
  4. You’re pressured into changing your will
  5. You’re pressured into giving away or ‘lending’ your valuable possessions

How can I protect my money?

  1. Talk to your support worker or housing manager – especially if you’re struggling to pay rent or bills
  2. Talk to your bank – most banks have signed up to a new financial abuse charter and have colleagues trained to help you
  3. Discreetly keep a small amount of money aside in case of emergencies
  4. Teach yourself the basics of finance, even if your friend or partner tends to manage the household bills – it’s useful for you to understand how bills work, how much you’re paying each month and to who

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