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What you should know to protect yourself or someone you love

You may not hear or know a lot about financial abuse, however reports show it’s an increasing issue for many Australians. At IMB we believe that the better we, as a community, understand this important issue, the easier it will be to identify and prevent potential financial abuse situations. Since 1880 we have been working with our members to help them achieve their financial goals and manage their financial affairs.

This extends to supporting members’ financial safety through:

  • secure banking systems;
  • providing information for members regarding safe banking practises;
  • educating our members and their families about potential risks like phishing and other scams affecting the finance industry; and
  • educating our members and their families about financial abuse. 

Keep reading for information on common warning signs of financial abuse, tips to prevent financial abuse and how IMB can help. This is general information only and everyone’s situation is different so please consider getting personal, professional advice where appropriate.

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse is when someone obtains an unlawful or unauthorised benefit from the money or assets of another more vulnerable person. People can be vulnerable due to incapacity, or dependence on or trust in another person. Financial abuse often harms or has the potential to harm the more vulnerable person or benefits the person committing the abuse.

It’s something that can happen to anyone and is not purely a risk that comes with age. Financial abuse can occur within families, friendships or any other type of relationship.

Financial abuse can be considered a type of a family violence (also known as domestic violence) and may be present with other forms of family violence, such as psychological abuse, physical abuse or neglect.

What can you do to prevent financial abuse?

If you suspect you or someone you know is at risk of financial abuse, there are a number of things that you can do:

  • keep up to date with your finances by regularly reviewing your statements and transaction history;
  • store your ATM, Debit and Credit cards securely;
  • do not share your PIN or internet banking/mobile banking passwords with anyone;
  • have a confidential discussion with the friendly staff at your IMB branch who can help; and
  • contact an independent service for help and support.

What are the warning signs of financial abuse?

It can be tricky to spot financial abuse, particularly in close relationships. Here are some signs that you may be at risk:

  • someone else is controlling your bank accounts and access to money in general;
  • you are feeling pressured to give money to someone else;
  • someone is selling or threatening to sell your property or possessions without your knowledge or consent;
  • someone is unreasonably relying on you to cover all of their living expenses;
  • bills have not been paid when you entrusted someone else to pay them;
  • someone is hiding money from you or may be making you feel as though you cannot manage money by yourself;
  • you notice that valuable items have gone missing from your home; or
  • you are being pressured to change your will.

Having a ‘signatory’ on your account

We understand that having signatories on your accounts, such as an authority to operate or a power of attorney, can be a great help to you, however, it is important that your signatories act in your best interest. It is only in limited circumstances that a signatory can benefit themselves with your money.

From time to time, we may ask questions or request that a signatory provide documentation (such as invoices or bills) to help us understand what a payment may be for. We do this routinely to help ensure that all our members are safe-guarded from financial harm.

How can IMB help?

If you have a concern about your account or the account of a loved one, please talk to us.

We can:

  • have a confidential discussion about your concerns;
  • help you or your authorised representative review the account and transaction history and other aspects of the account; and
  • provide guidance on where else you may be able to receive assistance.

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Where else you can get help

Legal support

Financial information

Family violence support

  • NSW Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit www.elderabusehelpline.com.au
  • 1800 737 732 – 1800 RESPECT – A national family violence and sexual assault service 24/7
  • 1800 050 321 – Family Relationship Advice Line – Information and advice on family relationship issues and parenting arrangements after separation.
  • 131 114 – Lifeline – Provides crisis support services 24/7.
  • Centrelink – www.humanservices.gov.au

Interpreter services

Emergency 000

 

Important Information:
This information has been prepared by IMB Bank for general information and reference and it is not intended to be advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should seek your own legal, accounting, financial or other professional advice when appropriate, and consider the relevant Terms and Conditions or Product Disclosure Statement before deciding whether to acquire any products or services offered by IMB Bank. We do not recommend any third party products or services referred to in this article and we are not liable in relation to them. Any links to third party websites are for your information and we do not endorse any content on those sites. IMB Ltd trading as IMB Bank. ABN 92 087 651 974 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 237

Why choose IMB Bank?

Established in 1880, IMB has been helping people achieve their financial goals for 138 years. IMB offers a full range of banking solutions including home and personal lending, savings and transaction accounts, term deposits, business banking, financial planning and can arrange a wide range of insurance and travel products.

IMB has a growing branch network throughout the Illawarra, Sydney, NSW South Coast, the ACT and Melbourne. We have a lending specialist in every branch and a team of mobile lending specialists who will come to you. IMB members enjoy access to free automated phone and internet banking and a team of professionals who are just a phone call away at our locally based call centre.

Find out more