Research Project on Fraud Prevention Training for Senior Citizens in the Town of Mamaroneck/Village of Larchmont

Martin J. Pfeiffer, Utica College of Syracuse University
Kyung-Seok Choo, Utica College of Syracuse University

This quasi-experimental design and survey methods study will examine the effects of a fraud prevention-training program on persons over the age of 65 who are members of the Town of Mamaroneck senior citizens center. While crime rates are at their lowest in decades, seniors citizens today are more likely to lose their financial assets to smooth-talking swindlers then street hoodlums. Many seniors who once locked themselves in their homes for protection now find themselves victimized by fraudsters. Deceptive mailings and telemarketers are increasingly targeting older Americans in an attempt to win their confidence and steal their money. Despite of major law enforcement efforts, fraud is becoming a national epidemic. Extensive research has been conducted on consumer vulnerability to fraudulent business practices. However, very little research has been targeted at assessing the value of fraud awareness programs that may be implemented to educate seniors about fraudulent schemes. This lack of research has raised serious questions that deserve further investigation. The primary focus of this study is to determine the usefulness of a community-based fraud prevention program for seniors. The specific goal of this study is to measure the effectiveness of a fraud awareness program on the local level.

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Updated 05/20/2006