Economics
Project
March 31, 2021

Elderly Fraud Research

It is estimated that fraud costs society more than $40 billion each year in the U.S. alone, with some estimates suggesting up to $660 billion. As the world’s older population grows dramatically, the issue of fraud among older adults gains increasing attention among media, public, and governments. In particular, current fraud prevention policies regarding older consumers are driven by concern (and common perception) that the elderly are particularly vulnerable to undue persuasion. However, there is surprisingly scarce evidence supporting this common assumption about elderly vulnerability and no consensus in the literature.

In this research program in cooperation with Unigens – an Italian association focusing on financial education and fraud prevention – the team tackles these two important related questions: Are older people more likely to be chosen as targets of fraud? And are they in fact, more likely to succumb to fraud, if targeted?

Researchers: Irene Consiglio (Nova SBE), Margaret C. Campbell (University of Colorado Boulder), and Stijn M.J. van Osselaer (Cornell University).

Partner: Unigens.

Nova SBE Behavioral Lab

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16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
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