Understanding aging and consumer fraud victimization in the Chinese context: A two-stage conceptual approach

J Elder Abuse Negl. 2021 Jun;33(3):230-247. doi: 10.1080/08946566.2021.1937428. Epub 2021 Jun 20.


The relationship between aging and consumer fraud victimization is mixed in the literature. Most studies based on survey data have found older consumers less likely to be fraud victims, while a few studies have found older consumers more likely to be victimized, especially with certain fraud types. We developed a two-stage conceptual framework to differentiate fraud exposure from fraud victimization once exposed. Using nationally representative Chinese data and controlling for confounders, we found that consumers between 65 and 74 face similar risks of being targeted by perpetrators compared to younger groups, while consumers 75+ and older are less likely to be exposed to fraud. However, once exposed, both groups of older consumers are significantly more likely to become fraud victims. In the Chinese context, these two opposing effects led to an overall higher risk of consumer financial fraud victimization by older consumers.

Keywords: China; Consumer financial fraud; fraud exposure; fraud victimization; methods of contact.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • China
  • Crime Victims*
  • Elder Abuse*
  • Fraud
  • Humans