Risk Factors for Financial Abuse

Apparently there really is such a thing as being “too nice” for your own good – especially when it comes to seniors and financial fraud and exploitation. 

According to recent research from True Link Financial, an elderly adult described by others as “extremely friendly” is 4X statistically more likely to fall victim to high amounts of senior financial fraud. True Link Financial, which released a full report summarizing findings on senior financial fraud last month, calls this phenomenon, “Friendly Grandparent Syndrome.”  As True Link CEO and founder Kai Stinchcombe explains, “You tell mom to hang up on telemarketers, but she is just too polite to hang up on anyone, and before you know it, she’s ready to bake them cookies.”

According to True Link’s research, telemarketers aren’t the only ones who take advantage of the kindness of seniors. Unscrupulous charities and fundraising organizations know that a friendly senior with cognitive issues is a potential gold mine. 

Another group that often preys on kind seniors is home repair scammers, who can trick a senior into thousands of dollars in needless or ridiculously overpriced repairs.

As Stinchcombe explains, “Not only can they take advantage of extreme kindness, these shady ‘charitable’ organizations also take advantage of the fact that seniors with cognitive issues may not remember the contributions they’ve already made.”