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  • John Caserta

Identifying Financial Abuse


October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month and its an important reminder to watch out for signs of financial abuse with a loved one. Financial expert John Caserta has tips for identifying financial abuse.

  • The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) estimates that nearly 95-99% of victims who have experienced some form of domestic violence, including physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual have also experienced financial or economic abuse.

  • Financial abuse has many forms including:

  • Controlling how money is spent

  • Preventing a victim from working or forcing them to quit a job

  • Stealing a partner’s identity

  • Coercing the victim into financial transactions


  • Other forms of financial abuse identified by experts:

  • Filing false insurance claims

  • Refusing to pay child support

  • Hiding assets or obscuring financial transactions

  • Engaging in excessive or unusually large cash transactions

  • Withholding basic living resources, medication, or food


Financial Abuse Risk Factors

  • A history of other forms of abuse in the relationship.

  • Poor health or some form of cognitive impairment, which is often seen with elderly victims.

  • Lack of a social network of family or friends that can help identify scams.

  • Unfamiliarity with financial matters.

  • Having family members with substance abuse problems.

Creating a Healthy Financial Relationship

  • Both partners have access to financial records and knowledge of existing accounts.

  • Financial decisions are made jointly.

  • Both partners meet with financial, legal, and tax professionals.

  • Documents are reviewed and signed together.

  • Each partner has equal access to money.

  • Determine financial powers of attorney when you are in good health physically and mentally.

Resources

  • Purple Purse – A non-profit organization sponsored by Allstate.

  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ncadv.org

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.