Scamming older Americans is a multibillion-dollar industry


Associated Press

Posted on June 23, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 23 at 9:01 PM

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.


%@AP Links

181-a-12-(Dr. Laura Mosqueda, co-director. national center on elder abuse, in AP interview)-"the Canadian lottery"-Dr. Laura Mosqueda says she has answered phone calls from scammers when she visits the homes of elderly people whose relatives raised concerns. (23 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *181 (06/23/12)>> 00:12 "the Canadian lottery"

179-a-06-(Donna Parker, daughter of elderly scam victims, in AP interview)-"but I didn't"-Donna Parker says she should have been more aware that scammers were stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her elderly parents. ((cut used in wrap)) (23 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *179 (06/23/12)>> 00:06 "but I didn't"

180-a-11-(Donna Parker, daughter of elderly scam victims, in AP interview)-"through. Forget it"-Donna Parker says the scammers are the worse kind of thieves because they prey on unsuspecting elderly people. (23 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *180 (06/23/12)>> 00:11 "through. Forget it"

178-w-38-(Allen Breed, AP correspondent, with Donna Parker, daughter of fraud victims and FBI Agent Joan Flemming)--Scamming the elderly is a multibillion-dollar industry. And adult children are often prevented from stopping it by the privacy laws intended to protect the victims. AP correspondent Allen Breed reports (23 Jun 2012)

<<CUT *178 (06/23/12)>> 00:38