Duke Han, PhD, director of neuropsychology in the Department of Family Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, has led a team of researchers in a study measuring the vulnerability of older adults  to financial exploitation. Their research concluded that the key predictor is social dissatisfaction, such as isolation or troubled relationships.

The findings underscore that social connectedness — which is already known to enhance physical and mental health in people of all ages — may also protect older adults against common forms of financial exploitation such as phishing emails, investment schemes and the “grandparent scam,” where an older adult receives a deceptive call about a grandchild in urgent need of money.

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