Cognitive Decline Meets Covid-19 Scams

Nov 6, 2020 / Amanda Chase, Horsesmouth Assistant Editor

The federal government warns that older Americans are being targeted by a battery of financial scams, including telemarketers offering to do contact tracing— for a fee—or to reserve a slot for a future vaccine. Others are soliciting donations to charities purportedly helping people in need during the economic slowdown. Covid-19 makes this a perilous time for people struggling with cognitive decline.

Few can escape a deterioration in their cognitive capacity as they age. It’s just a matter of degree and speed. But the faster it happens, the more damage it can do, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation concluded in a new study. Older people who either initially had less understanding of financial concepts or experienced a faster decline in their knowledge made poorer financial decisions in exercises that simulated real-world decisions.

This included a vulnerability to scams, which was assessed by asking the older people to agree or disagree with statements like this: “If a telemarketer calls me, I usually listen to what they have to say.” (Not recommended.) And this: “If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.” (Count on it.) To prevent scams, older people—and their caregivers—need to anticipate the financial damage that cognitive decline can cause.

You can find the full article at Squared Away Blog.

 

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