Did you know that national surveys have found that 15 percent of the adult population will be a victim of financial fraud during his or her lifetime? In a white paper released last week, the Financial Fraud Research Center — a joint initiative of the Standford Center on Longevity and the FINRA Foundation — compiled a summary of research on consumer financial fraud titled “Scams, Schemes, and Swindles: A Review of Consumer Financial Fraud Research.” Some of the collected data shows that fraud complaints increased to almost one million in 2011 and that Americans lose $40 to $50 billion every year to fraud. However, given the reluctance of some victims to report fraud, the actual cost of fraud may dwarf that estimate. In addition, the impact of fraud is far greater than its direct financial costs; significant amounts of time and money are spent each year to avoid and redress fraud, and victims of fraud often experience non-financial costs, including psychological consequences. The Financial Fraud Research Center reviewed data collected through various surveys and studies to analyze the prevalence of reported incidents of fraud, variables in the profile of fraud victims, the characteristics of fraudsters, and the methods commonly used to commit fraud. To read the full report, click here.