Preventing Financial Elder Abuse

Financial exploitation of a vulnerable senior citizen is not just unethical - it's illegal. And nearly 1 in 20 adults age 60 and over have experienced some form of financial exploitation. Read below for tips to protect yourself or a loved one from financial elder abuse.

Tips to Stay Safe

The American Bankers Association* suggests the following tips to help seniors safeguard their money:
  • Keep personal information private. Never share your social security number, account information, or personal details over the phone or internet, unless you initiated contact with a trusted source.
  • Shred! Shred! Shred! Shred receipts, bank statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away so fraudsters can’t piece together your personal information.
  • Don’t let a so-called “advisor” pressure you. Never let a new or untrusted “advisor” pressure you into sharing personal or financial details. They could be a fraudster. Carefully choose a trustworthy person to act as your agent in all estate-planning matters.
  • Check your credit report. Check your credit report at least once a year to ensure no new credit cards or accounts have been opened by criminals in your name. Everyone is entitled to receive a free copy of their credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies, but you must go through the Federal Trade Commission’s website at, or call 1-877-322-8228.
  • Lock up your checkbook, account statements, and other sensitive information when others will be in your home.
  • Get to know your banker and build a relationship with the people who handle your finances. They can look out for any suspicious activity related to your account.
  • Never pay a fee or taxes to collect sweepstakes or lottery “winnings.”
  • Check references and credentials before hiring anyone. Don’t allow workers to have access to information about your finances.
  • Pay with checks and credit cards instead of cash in order to keep a paper trail.
  • Trust your instincts. Exploiters and abusers often are very skilled. They can be charming and forceful in their effort to convince you to give up control of your finances. Don’t be fooled—if something doesn’t feel right, it may not be right. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you are a victim of financial abuse, please talk to Adult Protective Services, police, one of our Customer Service Representatives, a trusted family member, your clergy, attorney, doctor, or visit


Need to Report Abuse?

Call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400. You can also:
  • Report online at
  • Use the Texas Relay Service by dialing 711 or 1-800-735-2989 Voice or TTY. Tell the relay agent you need to call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400

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