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Financial decision-making deficits in scam cases: how frequent are they?

Due to the rise in scams perpetrated against older adults, Adult Protective Service workers are more frequently involved in investigating these matters. One significant aspect of scam involvement is the assessment of informed financial decision-making. This study examined 175 consecutive scam cases APS workers investigated using a 10-item financial-decision making tool. Two-thirds of the sample displayed deficits in decision-making. The decision-making tool was effective in differentiating those rated as having deficits from those without deficits. Analysis of each scored item found differences between groups on six of the seven items. A review of the item responses illustrates the types of deficits in understanding and appreciation of the scam and its impact on the older person and their family.

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