Don’t be fooled by Scammers, Don’t get scammed
Reading through the newspapers, we have all been surprised at how financial scams still manage to fool people into sending money to criminals.
Whether it is any of these scams:
- Life insurance scam
- An online dating site scam
- “My cousin needs emergency surgery – please donate” scam
These scams continue to convince enough people to send money that these criminals keep on doing them.
Previously, most assumed that since much of the scams were conducted using the internet, that older people were falling prey.
Due to the perception they lacked proficiency using computers.
However, a recent study has been published that shows there is more to older people’s trusting ways than ignorance to technology.
As the brain ages, it changes.
One of the regions of the brain that changes significantly as people age is the anterior insula.
This region shows drastic declines in neuron activity in older brains.
This region is also responsible for alerting the brain of “gut” feelings, such as whether or not a person is trustworthy or not.
When the brain gets older, this part of the brain is no longer able to assess the potential outcomes of engaging with certain people or places.
In one way, we get more carefree as we age; However, this also has a dark opposite side.
As older people tend to miss certain cues that mark suspicious people to the rest of us.
This has been proven by looking at baseline activity in healthy, young anterior insulae.
In younger people, this cognitive warning bell went off loud and clear, but not so with older adults.
This research should hopefully shed light on criminals who prey on older people.
Being more aware of certain cues that someone is suspicious should help.
As well as following the decisions of those of us who have younger brains.