They are also three times more likely to be asked to move funds into or from their bank accounts by a third party – and less protective of their personal data.

A study, commissioned by think-tank Demos and fraud prevention group Cifas, has analysed fraud risk associated with capacity-limiting conditions, including brain injury.

It shows that people with cognitive impairments are three times more likely to receive requests to move money through their accounts versus healthy respondents.

Meanwhile, 27 per cent of respondents with capacity-limiting conditions say they have shared their personal details such as a PIN or account number with someone they trust in the last 12 months; compared to 19 per cent of those without these conditions.

On the back of the findings, Demos and Cifas have issued a number of recommendations to improve existing measures protecting at-risk adults from fraud, including:

  • The establishment of a register of people with active lasting powers of attorney, or under an order of the Court of Protection, updated in real time for inspection by financial services businesses.  
  • Credit and criminal records checks to be offered before a power of attorney can be registered. 
  • More sharing of intelligence, including on ‘suckers lists’ drawn up and sold among fraudsters. 

Security minister Ben Wallace MP has reportedly agreed to raise these issues with the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Office of the Public Guardian.

Responding to the findings, Peter McCabe, chief executive of brain injury charity Headway, said: “It is important that providers of financial services realise the huge variations in people’s preferences and abilities after brain injury.

“Effects such as impulsivity and a lack of insight are common, while the difficulties in defining mental capacity, particularly with fluctuating conditions such as brain injury where survivors are significantly affected by fatigue, are well known.

“We welcome the involvement of Cifas and Demos in addressing this important but complex issue.”

The data was based on analysis of the Financial Lives survey. Full results are available here.