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How Criminals Steal $37 Billion a Year from America’s Elderly – Elder Abuse – Bloomberg

A Bloomberg article, By author, Nick Leiber, entitled, “How Criminals Steal $37 Billion a Year from America’s Elderly”, made the frightening, but all too true statement that, “Telephone pitchers, online scammers and even family members target the most vulnerable among us. And it’s about to get worse.” Among several cases illustrated in the article, the first was of an 82 year old woman, Marjorie Jones, “who was legally blind and lived alone in a two-story house in Moss Bluff, Louisiana”. According to Leiber’s reporting, Jones was contacted by phone by a scammer who convinced her that she had won a “sweepstakes prize”, and that by paying “taxes and fees”, with requests continually escalating, she would be able to claim the prize. Ms. Jones, the article states, “depleted her savings, took out a reverse mortgage and cashed in a life insurance policy” to make the payments to the schemers. Tragically, after it was too late for family to find out and “Jones had lost all of her life savings—hundreds of thousands of dollars,” she eventually committed suicide.

Illustration: Rebekka Dunlap. ©2018 Bloomberg L.P. All Rights Reserved.

Leiber reported that, “Some 5 million older Americans are financially exploited every year by scammers like the ones who targeted Jones.” He continued, stating, “One financial services firm estimates seniors lose as much as $36.5 billion a year.”


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