Elderly victims of financial abuse are unlikely to discuss their finances with other people, according to a study by Allianz Life, an insurance company, and as a result, the extent of fraud committed against the elderly may be underreported.
Researchers conducted a survey of more than 2,000 Americans who were either older than 65, or who were friends and family of an elderly person and between the ages of 40 and 65. Among elderly respondents who had been the victims of financial fraud, 92 percent indicated they keep their financial problems to themselves.
Less than a quarter, 24 percent, said they regularly get advice on how to protect themselves from future abuse.
The study suggests both professionals, as well as friends and family, are equally successful at encouraging basic fraud prevention skills, such shredding sensitive documents and never signing documents that are difficult to understand.
Just 69 percent of elderly respondents who talk about finances with no one shred documents, compared with 85 percent among those who consult with friends, family or professionals, according to the study.
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