Queenslanders encouraged to be vigilant when it comes to financial abuse

10 November 2022

Queensland Police Service (QPS) and the Public Trustee are reminding Queenslanders to stay vigilant and put plans in place to protect themselves from financial abuse as part of Crime Prevention Week 2022.

Public Trustee of Queensland, Samay Zhouand said almost all cases of financial abuse occur within family relationships.

“Over 80 percent of financial abuse reports in Queensland involve family or friends mismanaging their role as attorney,” Mr Zhouand said.

“You can protect yourself by making sure your financial decision-making documents are in order.

“Nominating more than one attorney in your Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) or ensuring you have ‘nominated person’ arrangements in place reduce the risk,” he said.

Financial abuse is often a silent crime with devastating impacts on its victims, but it can be harder to recognise due to the nature of relationships between perpetrators and their victims.

Detective Acting Superintendent Mike Newman, from the QPS Financial and Cyber Crime Group said police will act to protect and support victims of elder abuse, but it’s important to keep your assets safe and put as many safeguards in place as possible.

“We see many cases where trusted family members or friends take advantage of mental illness, high stress situations and financial challenges,” Detective Acting Superintendent Newman said.

“Earlier this year a man was arrested for defrauding an elderly member of his family. An investigation commenced in 2021 when police received a complaint from the Public Trustee, on behalf of an 83-year-old woman in relation to alleged misappropriated funds from her bank accounts.

“Detectives from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group identified a family member of the victim had transferred more than $1.172 million dollars from the woman's bank accounts into his own accounts,” he said.

The Public Trustee recently partnered with Queensland Law Society to deliver a webinar on advance life planning which is now available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybhYvzWZ4MA

“This webinar provides important information and tips about making your wishes known and protecting yourself in the event you lose capacity to make financial decisions,” Mr Zhouand said.

Find out more about financial abuse and how you can protect yourself.

For more information visit: www.pt.qld.gov.au

Media enquiries: Melissa Dixon – 0475 689 755

Last published: 21/02/2024 1:33:32 AM