The huge, hidden fraud risk facing Australian pensioners 79



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According to one of the country’s leading voices in age discrimination, over-60s are at high risk of  fraud and financial abuse. More disturbingly, this abuse can come at the hands of those we love most.

Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan warns that Australia’s pensioners are in danger of losing our homes and savings to family and friends.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Ryan plans to speak tomorrow about this worrying trend. She believes one of the biggest problems comes from close friends or relatives asking for a loan they will never actually pay back.

She will also be addressing the risk of pensioners transferring their homes – “now worth a lot of money” to their children on the unofficial promise of a granny flat or personal care… but without a paper trail to guarantee this.

“This terrible, destructive behaviour attracts too little attention,” says her planned speech.

“We need to focus on it much more strongly if we are going to develop more effective protections”.

Ryan recommends that retirees should seek out independent advice – both legally and financially – even when dealing with somebody they trust unconditionally.

She believes Australia needs to understand much more about the problem, as there is nowhere near enough data to be able to take action. However, reports from legal experts and elder abuse helplines suggest this financial abuse is widespread.

Studies by Monash University have found that as much as 5 per cent of Australians over the age of 65 have experienced some form of financial abuse, with women over 80 most at risk, and children the most likely to commit the act.

The Age Discrimination Commissioner believes Australia needs a strong national plan to fight all forms of elder abuse, in much the same way that domestic violence has been pushed back into the national conversation this past year.

New changes could potentially including new laws specifically aimed at criminalising this form of abuse.

Do you agree that financial abuse is a genuine risk to retirees? Have you (or somebody you know) ever experienced it? And what can we do to put a stop to it?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yep, Its Always Fuck The Pensioners !!!!!!!! Cut Money Cut Jobs Cut Everything For The People That Really Need The Fucking Money To Fucking Live On !!!!!!!!! How About Some Of You Fucking Big Fucking GOVERNMENT ASS HOLE TAKING A FUCKING CUT IN YOUR FUCKING MONEY US PEOPLE PAY YOU WITH ?????????????

  2. I must admit I don’t know anyone personally, however I have seen it on the TV and read about it, and I don’t understand why some people have not learned to say NO when they can’t afford to lend or give money to family or friends, if you know that there is not enough to go around then you must say NO you can’t afford it, your family love you and they will understand.

    1 REPLY
    • Yes I also have been it on TV i agree I don’t know how people are so gullible but then I guess, we don’t know how much pressure they have been put under.I don’t know how family can to this especially to their parents. But what goes around comes around .

  3. I am amazed that it is not already criminalised – that needs to be a priority. I have sadly witnessed this myself, and it alarms me at just how easy it is to do – with little chance of retribution. I was hoodwinked myself by a close relative, who rushed me through the process of document signing because he “was in a hurry, he was late picking up the kids”. I wasn’t comfortable signing a legal document I had not read, but he was so insistent that I had to sign that day, and the kids were waiting for him, I thought “if you can’t trust your own family, who can you trust”. Wow! Huge mistake. Fortunately the implications for me weren’t that serious, but a huge wake up call in never ever being rush into signing anything by anyone, even family you think you can trust.

  4. Would never fall for this. A distant relative sold her house, gave the money to her children with the plan to move between them seasonally. Didn’t even last one season. She ended up being taken in by my sister in law where she lived for years before going into a nursing home. My sister in law took care of everything for her. Her family never came near her.

    3 REPLY
    • Funny thing is, I’m not a big fan of my sister in law, but have to give her credit! She took Aunty in, took good care of her. When aunty got too much for her, she arranged for her to go into the local aged care facility. After Aunty passed, her family turned up and yelled at my s-in-l for having the audacity to have her put in a home!! Yet she had asked them to be involved in all the decision making and had not heard a word! Some families just aren’t ‘family’.

    • This is the King Lear story first found in the Welsh stories then made popular by. Shakespear who has a lot to teach us about human behaviour.

  5. “New changes could potentially including new laws specifically aimed at criminalising this form of abuse.”
    Now that is a change I would definitely endorse. The world has changed since we were young. Now money is God and trusting relationships are to be exploited.

    1 REPLY
  6. I have been duped by someone I trusted over $100.000. I feel such a fool . financially life is a struggle. Fortunately I have a good life with a wealth that money cannot buy.

  7. In theory it should work well for all parties. But as with anything involving money, there should be a legal contract and well thought out exit clauses. If things don’t go as planned or large sums of money are needed for end of life care, there needs to be a contingency plan.

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