Renfrewshire Council

Piggy bank

Money hack: How to spot the signs of financial harm

The term financial harm can feel a bit vague, but here's our advice on how to spot the signs.

You can be pressured into giving out money to a bogus trader, in an internet scam, and even to a relative, friend or carer.

Check out these warning signs to see if you or someone you know is suffering from financial harm.

  1. Sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives claiming rights to a person's affairs or possessions
  2. Unusual concern by someone that too much money is being spent on the care of the person
  3. There is a lack of basic things, like TV, toiletries, clothing, or food that the person should be able to afford
  4. Deliberate isolation of an older person from friends and family, resulting in the caregiver alone having total control
  5. Unpaid bills or overdue rent, when someone else is authorised to manage the Adult's finances
  6. The person lacks access to their own money, or report that another person has access to possessions, bank account or property against the adult's consent
  7. The person gives money to someone for reasons that concern you
  8. The adult is unclear or confused about where their money has gone
  9. The person is stressed about money issues or debt, or there is unexplained debt


Remember: always trust your instincts - if something feels wrong, say something.

You can report your concerns to:


Police Scotland

Call 101 or 999 in an emergency


Renfrewshire Council social work service 

Report concerns or to make an adult protection referral by calling 0300 300 1380

Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau

Call 0141 889 2121

Action on Elder Abuse Scotland Helpline

Call 0808 808 8141


Published: Saturday 10 November 2018