How to Avoid Financial Exploitation - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How to Avoid Financial Exploitation

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - A recent study shows financial exploitation is the number one type of abuse for elderly adults in living at home.

If you think you or you're loved ones might be at risk, Washington state has a few warning signs to avoid becoming a victim.

Officials recommend watch out for unauthorized ATM withdrawals, missing checks or forged signatures, a sudden change in your mailing address, or relatives recently claiming rights to possessions. You should also be careful when you designate someone with your power of attorney.

"You want to choose someone who will do things for your benefit," said Val Bauermeister, Adult Protective Services, Dept. of Social & Health Services.     

If you suspect abuse, call the DSHS toll free at 1-866-End-Harm.