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Abuse of position of trust

What it is

When someone abuses their position of authority or trust for personal or financial gain, or so that someone else loses money or status.

Protect yourself

  • Make sure you have complete confidence in anyone you entrust with your finances to make decisions on your behalf. Don’t be afraid to change your mind in future.
  • Grant the trust to more than one person to make joint decisions (so everyone in the position of trust has to agree on decisions together).
  • You’ll need to be prepared to challenge suspicious behaviour if you’ve been given a position of trust alongside someone else.

Spot the signs

  • You’re being pressured into making a decision by someone you’ve given a position of trust to.
  • You’re being intimidated or told to keep certain dealings secret from other trustees.
  • You notice something suspicious in the finances of the person who has entrusted you, such as a large purchase or bank transfer.

How it happens

Friends, family members, carers or company employees may be asked to look after your personal or business finances. They may instead take advantage of their access to bank accounts or information for their own benefit, or misuse the assets of a business to embezzle funds for themselves.

If you have been given a position of trust, it is your responsibility to keep a close eye on the individual’s finances, particularly if they are vulnerable. Handle bills and statements with care and shred them before throwing them out.

How to report it

Report it to us online or call 0300 123 2040. For more advice and to raise any concerns, contact the Office of the Public Guardian.