For elderly clients, falling victim to fraud is much more likely to have a substantial emotional impact than a substantial financial impact, according to a new survey.
By more than a four-to-one margin (68% to 16%), financial planners said the emotional impact of fraud on the elderly was significant rather than minimal, according to research by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Only 32% of the 688 CPA financial planners surveyed, however, said the financial impact of fraud was substantial.
“Financial exploitation of the elderly impacts much more than their finances,”said Susan Tillery, chair of the institute’s executive committee.
The most common type of financial abuse perpetrated on their elderly clients involved phone and internet scams, which were cited by 75% of the advisers in the survey. Other problems include the inability to say no to relatives (60%) and identity theft (49%).
Other scams or abuses that advisers cited in the survey include supporting adult children (43%), credit card theft (30%) and being taken advantage of by an in-home caregiver (26%).
“Everyone is vulnerable to financial abuse and exploitation,” Ms. Tillery said. “However, the elderly are highly susceptible because companionship is an enticing allure for them.”