About elder financial abuse

  • What is elder financial abuse?

    When a trusted person misuses their position or causes financial harm to an older person. Elder financial abuse can take many forms and can happen to anyone.


  • Why it matters?

    It hurts people. Beyond financial loss, it can also limit a person's access to a safe home, adequate food or medical care. Other serious impacts include anxiety and depression.

Who's at risk? 

  • Everyone is at risk, however those at greater risks include:
    • People who are socially isolated
    • People who are physically or mentally impaired
    • People who identify as having First Nations heritage
    • People who are from a migrant or refugee background
    • People with low financial literacy
    • People from LGBTQIA+ communities
    • People who are reliant on others for their care
    • People who have been subject to other types of abuse 

Common forms of abuse

Elder financial abuse takes many forms and can include repeated or one-off actions, inaction and even threats.

Common forms of abuse are:

  • Abusing power of attorney 
  • Pressure, threats and intimidation 
  • Scams and fraud 
  • Abusing informal family agreements 
  • Improper use of funds
  • Theft
  • Inheritance impatience
  • Guarantors gone wrong
  • Failure to provide promised care
  • Emotional blackmail

Where to get help

  • The Safe & Savvy guide

    The guide we've created contains information, resources and practical activities to help you better understand and prevent elder financial abuse for you and your loved ones. 

    At the end of the guide you'll find a list of support services available.

    Download the guide

  • Who developed the guide?

    It was developed by CommBank in partnership with a large range of community and academic experts. 

    Free online course

    Visit beconnected.esafety.gov.au to access a free online course that teaches you how to perform common banking tasks securely from home.

How to protect yourself

  • Learn simple steps you can take to protect yourself against scams and fraud.

    Stay safe online