The recent crisis in the American economy has threatened the financial security of millions of Americans. But it has also revealed another problem: the proliferation of widespread financial fraud. From fake lotteries to massive Ponzi schemes, financial fraud continues to be a common pitfall affecting the financial well-being of people of all ages, with particular challenges for older Americans. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 10.8% of U.S. consumers (25.6 million people) were defrauded in 2011.

The Stanford Center on Longevity, along with AARP, convened a group of practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to discuss this growing problem of financial fraud. Against the backdrop of a rapidly aging population and the increasing vulnerability of trillions of dollars, the group identified three urgent initiatives necessary to further fraud prevention:

• Consolidate information
• Connect research to policy
• Provide funding

In order to address these initiatives, the Stanford Center on Longevity and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation launched the Financial Fraud Research Center  in July, 2011.

Financial fraud, as a crime of deceit for money, relates to range of disciplines: behavioral economics, psychology, marketing, law, finance, and criminology, among others. With particular focus on individual consumer fraud, the Financial Fraud Research Center  consolidates research from this range of disciplines to form a unified understanding of fraud. Through this understanding, we can identify the most effective detection and prevention strategies in the fight against financial fraud.

View the website: Financial Fraud Research Center