Study: Rate of Elderly Fraud Victims at Least 1 in 18, Possibly Higher

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Aug 28, 2017

While senior citizens experiencing cognitive decline are 33 percent more likely to fall victim to financial fraud and exploitation, even healthy seniors with their cognitive faculties intact are regularly preyed upon, as a recent study has found that as many as 1 in 18 "cognitively intact" individuals have been the victim of some sort of scam― a figure likely too low, as many victims are reluctant to report what happened, according to CNBC. These are the findings of a meta-analysis that looked at 12 studies involving roughly 41,700 individuals. CNBC said that while the elderly have always been a target for financial fraud and exploitation, the numbers seem to be growing. Criminals tend to go where the money is, and the elderly are seen as having more money than most. CPAs and other financial professionals can play a key role in thwarting these types of crime, as they can more easily spot red flags like large withdrawals, unanticipated financial stress, or investment opportunities that are too good to be true. However, CNBC also noted that fraudster tactics are highly variable, and so it's important to watch for anything unusual. 


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