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The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Tennessee Asset Abuse

Frequently Used Tools:

Protecting Your Assets from Abuse Toolkit

Protecting Your Assets from Abuse Toolkit provides credible information and resources to disabled adults, seniors and caregivers who want to learn how to recognize and avoid financial abuse, neglect and exploitation. Educational materials developed by UT Extension and other organizations are compiled under the following headings:

  • Family Financial Abuse
  • Health Fraud
  • Housing
  • Identity Theft
  • Medicare Fraud
  • Predatory Lending

This toolkit is a collaborative effort with the Tennessee Vulnerable Adult Coalition. The mission of TVAC is to bring Tennessee public and private entities together to promote collaboration necessary to prevent the abuse, neglect and exploitation of vulnerable adults. Members represent agencies and organizations committed to eliminating the costly crime of fraud and financial abuse by educating vulnerable adults about prevention strategies and suspicious signs/activities and by encouraging reporting of such crimes as fraud and financial abuse.

For more information about protecting your financial assets from abuse, please contact your local County Extension FCS Agent or the state leadership team.

October is Fraud and Financial Abuse Awareness Month

Fraud and Financial Abuse Resources

Dumpster divers, email and phone scam artists, as well as unethical door-to-door repair service people are all looking to make a buck (or more) off of you. Don’t let them make you their next victim. October is Fraud and Financial Abuse Awareness Month. UT Extension is a partner with the Tennessee Vulnerable Adults Coalition (TVAC), a coalition urging you to protect yourself and your loved ones against these crimes. A few tips to help protect your identity and your finances:

  • Do not give out your personal information over the phone, email or Internet, unless you initiated the conversation and trust the party at the other end.
  • Protect your Social Security number, credit and debit card numbers, passwords and other personal identification. Never carry your Social Security card in your wallet.
  • Know what is in your wallet in case is it stolen or misplaced. Carry only what you really need with you.
  • Keep your financial trash clean by shredding documents with personal and account information in them.
  • Check out companies with the Better Business Bureau who come door-to-door or solicit business over the phone.
  • Check bank account and credit card statements closely.
  • Register your phone numbers with the Do Not Call registries.
  • Report any fraudulent activity to law enforcement and other appropriate agencies as soon as you become suspicious

If you do become a victim of identity theft, contact each of the three credit reporting agencies and place a fraud alert on your reports. The three major credit reporting agencies are

TransUnion 800.680.7289
Equifax 800.525.6285
Experian 888.397.3742

Close accounts that you know have been tampered with or opened without your permission. You should also file a police report and a report with the Federal Trade Commission at, or call 877.438.4338.

Fraud Bingo Game

Check out the "Fraud Bingo" game as fun, interactive way to help increase understanding and awareness.
Fraud Bingo

Elder Abuse Awareness

Abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of the elderly are much more common than we want to admit. Join us in promoting awareness and help to empower our older citizens. Click the link below to access resources for promoting this issue in your community.

Elder Abuse Awareness

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State Leadership Team

Ann Berry, PhD, MBA, RFG
Associate Professor & Extension Family Economics Specialist
University of Tennessee Extension
Family & Consumer Sciences
119 Morgan Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996-4501
Phone: (865) 974-8198
Fax: (865) 974-5370

Barbara (Bobbi) Clarke, PhD, RD
Professor & Extension Health Specialist
Co-Director UT Center for Community-based Health Initiatives
University of Tennessee Extension
Family & Consumer Sciences
119 Morgan Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996-4501
Phone: (865) 974-8198
Fax: (865) 974-5370