Financial exploitation costing elderly $3 billion each year
With the family together this holiday, it may be a good time to review your parents finances looking for signs of fraud and exploitation. Sylvia Miller told us about a neighbor who seemed so nice taking her to appointments but ended up cleaning out her bank account. "I learned a very good lesson," said Miller.
For others it's an even harder lesson. "The oldest victim we had was in their late 80's taken for about $100,000," explains Lt. Mike Yarbrough with Jefferson County Special Investigations.
Financial exploitation of someone over sixty is a felony in Alabama. Yarbrough says the culprits are family members, caretakers, financial advisers, even attorneys. He says the scammers come across as so nice and helpful running errands and taking unsuspecting seniors to appointments.
"Unfortuantely there is temptation anytime money is around," warns Alabama Securities Commission Director Joseph Borg. With our population aging, it's the elderly who have most often amassed wealth making them prime targets. "That's where the money is; that's where crooks are going."
And if a senior has diminished capacity with dementia or Alzheimer's, these thefts often go undetected. The Alabama Securities Commission is focusing more on financial abuse of seniors. Stock brokers and financial planners are now required to report suspected exploitation.
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