Your Aging Brain and Scams

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D. // Aging


April 7  

brainIt turns out that as we age, some brain changes seem to make it more difficult to assess untrustworthiness.

It turns out that older people have less activity in a part of the brain called the anterior insula.

A study on brains and scams indicates that:

One of the functions of this area of the brain is that it helps interpret sensations in the body that form “gut feelings,” according to lead author Elizabeth Castle.

 [This part of our brain is sort of behind the green section in the image]

This may account for older persons being more prone to believing scam artists.

Email scams, telephone ploys and door-to-door scam artists are taking advantage of older citizens and taking off with large amounts of money.

The scammers seem to know this and older people are being targeted more and more..

So if you are getting older, or know people who are older – PLEASE tell them to say NO or “let me think about it” when asked for money, car rides, or approached by strangers to do “house repairs.”


Thoughts? Comments? Thank you. 

  • Thats very interesting and makes sense when you consider some of the scams older people are exposed to. I hope this research can help in some way in the future. Thanks for posting 🙂

    • Thank you for the comment Nicola. I also hope it helps as I hear about scams targeted at the elderly all the time.. and maybe we can learn more and see if there is some correcting mechanism like exercise, etc.


  • Fascinating. And it makes sense. Thanks for the heads up. I know many friends that are dealing with aging parents who are susceptible to this.

    • I love learning more about our brains and this did seem important. So you are quite welcome and do pass along the info and thank you Rachel for the comment


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    About the Author

    Native of NYC who moved a lot, got several degrees, and has been a lifelong writer and reader... I am interested in many things - and I write [and teach] about them - especially the human lifespan and healthy aging

    Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.