It’s important to identify and prevent financial exploitation, by understanding perpetrator risk factors and victim risk factors.  With this knowledge, advocates can help protect vulnerable individuals from financial exploitation.  This article explores the most common victim risk factors so we can use them to promote financial wellness.

Elderly Individuals

First, older adults are among the most vulnerable to financial exploitation.  As people age, they may become more dependent on others for financial assistance, making them more susceptible to fraudulent activities.

Individuals with Disabilities

Second, individuals with disabilities may also be at higher or other risk for financial exploitation.  They may have a greater dependence on caregivers or others for financial assistance, and their disabilities may make them more vulnerable to manipulation.

Individuals with Limited Financial Resources

Next, individuals with limited financial resources may be more vulnerable to financial exploitation.  They may be desperate for financial assistance and may be more likely to fall for fraudulent schemes promising quick financial relief.

Individuals with Limited Financial Literacy

Additionally, individuals with limited financial literacy may be more likely to fall victim to financial exploitation.  They may not fully understand financial terms or how to identify fraudulent activities.  Forensic accountants can help by educating individuals on financial literacy and identifying any suspicious financial activity from those lacking financial knowledge.

Individuals with Limited Social Support

Finally, individuals with limited social support may be more vulnerable to financial exploitation because they may lack a support network to help identify and prevent fraudulent activities.

By understanding victim risk factors, we can better protect vulnerable individuals from financial exploitation. Elderly individuals, individuals with disabilities, those with limited financial resources or financial literacy, and those with limited social support are among the most vulnerable.  As always, we should be on the lookout for any suspicious financial activity involving these groups and ensure they receive the necessary support and protection.  By promoting financial integrity and preventing financial exploitation, we can help protect individuals and organizations from financial harm.