Scamming Older Americans is a Multibillion-Dollar Industry

By: AP
By: AP

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Scamming older Americans is a multibillion-dollar industry and their adult children can sometimes have a tough time stopping their parents from falling victim.
A study last year by the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech says the elderly lose $2.9 billion a year to fraud. And most victims are women between 80 and 89.
The adult children of North Carolina residents Charles and Miriam Parker say they had to bring in the FBI to convince their parents that they were victims of an international sweepstakes scam. The retired educators had lost tens of thousands of dollars and eventually the court appointed an attorney as their guardian ad litem.
In a 2007 article for the journal Alzheimer's Care Today, authors David Kirkman and Virginia H. Templeton wrote that the latest technology makes it easy for criminals to identify vulnerable seniors, contact them and get them to part with their savings.


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