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A financial exploiter oftentimes uses what's called "Undue Influence" to gain control of the decision making capacity of their victim.
Undue Influence is also known as "Grooming". It is a slow but steady pattern of manipulative behaviors that enables the exploiter to get the victim to do exactly what he or she wants them to do. Groomers look for an advantageous situation or dysfunctional family dynamic so that they can blend themselves in SMOOTHLY within the family unit. But their ultimate purpose is to gain complete control of the victim when they're most vulnerable. Many of these exploiters are family members themselves or someone from the outside who has entered into a relationship with one of the family members, according to studies conducted by Criminal Justice Departments nationwide and Elder Abuse agencies.
Here's what a typical groomer searches for in their victims:
1. An older person who is inexperienced or nave.
2. An older person who has an adverse life event such as the death of a spouse.
3. An older person who is lonely and/or isolated.
4. An older person who has limited mobility and health issues.
5. An older person who is dependent on others.
6. An older person who has a cognitive impairment.
It is important to remember that "GROOMING IS A PROCESS, NOT AN EVENT".
So what can we do to protect a family member who has been caught in this vicious web of undue influence?
WE MUST PAY ATTENTION TO ALL THE LITTLE THINGS THAT ARE MINOR AND ARE OFTEN NON-CRIMINAL ACTS. BUT THESE LITTLE THINGS ARE CRITICAL TO THE IDENTIFICATION OF A GROOMERS TACTICS.
If your suspicion grows, jot all events down on paper. Make daily contact with your loved one a priority.
Studies have shown that when an elder is connected to family members not involved with the abuser, the likelihood of becoming a victim of financial exploitation and/or elder abuse lessens significantly.
If signs of exploitation have occurred, file reports with your local Law Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services so that an investigation into the matter can begin.
DON'T BUY INTO THIS ONE.
From the desk of Jane Constant
Senior Relations Specialist
Nashua Police Department.
Posted on: August 01, 2016