top of page

Romance Scam Research Center

2022: US: Financial fragility and scam susceptibility in community dwelling older adults

Lei Yu, Gary Mottola, Lisa L. Barnes, Olivia Valdes, Robert S. Wilson, David A. Bennett & Patricia A. Boyle (2022) Financial fragility and scam susceptibility in community dwelling older adults, Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect, 34:2, 93-108, DOI: 10.1080/08946566.2022.2070568

Abstract: "We tested the hypothesis that financial fragility is associated with higher scam susceptibility in older adults without dementia. Data came from nearly 900 community-dwelling participants from two ongoing cohort studies of aging. Financial fragility was determined by assessing an individual’s ability to access $2,000 within a month for an unexpected expense. Scam susceptibility was assessed via a 5-item instrument that measures perceptions and behaviors that predispose older adults to financial fraud and scams. On average, participants were 82 years of age. Nearly 10% reported financial fragility. Financial fragility was higher in Blacks and among those with fewer years of education, lower income, lower global cognition, lower literacy, and poorer financial decision-making. Regression analysis revealed that financially fragile older adults were more susceptible to scams. These data suggest that targeted efforts to reduce financial fragility and improve literacy and cognitive health are needed to prevent elder exploitation among diverse populations."

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page