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Brain Changes Make Elderly More Vulnerable to Scams

Financial scams abound around the
holidays, and it's long been known that the elderly are more vulnerable.
Now, scientists are learning why: New research suggests age-related
changes in the brain make it harder to detect suspicious body language
and other warning signs that people may be untrustworthy. The prevalence
of the crime has already reached epidemic proportions, according to
Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on
Aging, and will continue to grow as the Baby Boomers age. Financial
exploitation of the elderly — from telemarketing scams to identity
theft, fake check scams, and home repair fraud — costs an estimated $3
billion annually, she says, a 12 percent increase from 2008. About 55
percent of it is perpetuated by a family member, Markwood says. "It's
not usually the close children, but the removed relative. And what they
tend to do is try to isolate the older person, so no one can see what is
going on.''

Source/more: USA Today/ABC News

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