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Why are the Elderly More Susceptible to Financial Fraud?

New research suggests a new reason for the trust seniors place in others

Researchers have long been interested in finding out why the elderly tend to fall for scams more easily than the rest of the population. While cognitive decline and diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia have been considered the main culprits in this equation, new research shows another contributor.

As we age, we lose some of our “gut instincts”

Researchers at Cornell University’s Department of Human Development have identified changes in our brain that impact our socio-emotional reactions, such as our ability to discern when someone’s intentions may not be in our best interest.

Nathan Spreng, director of the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, published an inquiry that found that as we get older, changes to the brain occur in regions that help us decide whether or not to trust someone, leaving us less likely to notice deceit.

“We’re less likely to pay attention to the negative,” Spreng said. “We’re not as vigilant against threat.”

As we age, we become targets for scammers

As time goes by, the changes in our brains mean that we have a harder time determining if we are being cheated or not. We have less brain and tend to focus on the positive, as opposed to the negative. Financial swindlers thrive on this, and their scams come in many forms. Phone calls, sweepstakes, investment scams, and bogus emails soliciting money are just a few.

Unfortunately, elder financial abuse also takes place closer to home. This includes from caregivers, family members, and even financial advisors responsible for the senior’s investments and savings.

The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming victims of elder financial fraud, as well as ways to recover some financial losses.

If you feel you or a family member are a victim of elder financial fraud due to the actions of a broker or financial advisor, contact the Silver Law Group. Our attorneys are leaders in the field of securities arbitration and elder financial fraud. We represent individual and institutional investors across the United States who have lost money at the hands of a trusted financial advisor.

Our services are provided on a contingency-fee basis, which means we are only compensated if there is a recovery of losses. Contact us for a complimentary consultation about your situation.

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