16 Jun 2015

Elderly being financially abused - Ombudsman

10:48 am on 16 June 2015

Elderly people are at growing risk of being defrauded through internet and mobile phone banking and scams, Banking Ombudsman Deborah Battell says.

The elderly were much more likely to be the targets of financial abuse than other age groups and, as the population aged and more people suffered dementia, the situation was only getting worse, she said.

It was not unusual for Ms Battell's office to get complaints of elder financial abuse, including scams.

"If you can separate out your money so that some of it can't be touched, and you've got a smaller amount in a current account, then a fraudster or somebody that's actually abusing you financially is unlikely to be able to get as much money."

Some older people struggled to keep up with technology and were afraid of losing cheques and paper statements, and the ability to control their own finances, Ms Battell said.