Why Older Adults Are So Susceptible To Financial Fraud

View Original Forbes Article

A survey from 2010 revealed that Americans over the age of 65 years old reported that they had fallen victim to financial fraud or abuse.

Studies have been conducted to find out as to why older adults [for this instance baby boomers] are more susceptible to abuse and scams. A study conducted by UCLA discovered that in older participants had less use their anterior insula – the part of the brain that supports interoceptive awareness (commonly known as your “gut feeling”) in comparison to younger participants. The decrease use in the anterior insula in older adults may suggest that their awareness or assessment of risk is not as “strong” compared to younger adults. Researcher Laura Carstensen refers to this as the “positivity bias,” the tendency to devote more attention and memory to positive information in general. Again this is more of a common occurrence amongst older adults. Additionally another study found that while financial capacity in older adults declined with their age, their financial confidence did not. This poses as a threat for older adults to become victims of financial fraud and abuse.

Simple solutions and ways to help keep older adults safe from financial fraud and abuse are easy to find. Older adults and their families can use technological applications, find financial advisers, and other services that companies provide that help to keep older adults safe.