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Quick stats about elder fraud and scams

Elder fraud is a serious issue that persists year after year, despite the efforts of family members, organizations and even financial institutions. The elderly are often targets for these financial schemes because of their potential isolation, possible mental difficulties later on in life, and the simple fact that they are more likely than younger people to have exploitable wealth.

Are you wondering how big the problem really is? If so, here are a few important stats:

-- Fraud claims around $3 billion each and every year.

Each case is different. Some scams target just the very wealthy, while others try to skim a little bit from many people. What's clear, though, is that the cumulative impact is huge.

-- Some studies show that fraud may be decreasing.

For example, one study found that 20 percent of those who were at least 65 years old were scammed in 2010, but that number dropped to 17 percent in 2016. While the decrease is good, it still shows that there is a significant issue for seniors to contend with.

-- Parents may hide fraud.

Perhaps casting light on that decrease, children were asked if their parents would be honest about fraud. A full 21 percent said they believed their parents, feeling ashamed about what had happened, may be less than truthful and seek to cover up the event.

Are you worried that one of your aging parents has been scammed, or are you a senior citizen who believes he or she has been victimized by fraud? As tough as this situation can be to deal with, it's crucial to make sure you know all of your legal options.

Source: Forbes, "The Good News About Elder Fraud," Richard Eisenberg, accessed April 27, 2017

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