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U.S. Alert - Three Senior Crimes Are on the Rise

Rising incidents of scams targeting older adults present an enormous threat to seniors' security, both financially and emotionally. Three crimes, in particular, are identity theft, Medicaid/Medicare and medication fraud, and financial exploitation.

Canada Alert - Three Senior Crimes Are on the Rise

Growing fraud against seniors threatens both financial and emotional security. Seniors who have been defrauded may suffer long-lasting trauma that often erodes their sense of trust and well-being, senior care experts have noted.

Anatomy of a Scam

It seems as though scammers are targeting older adults wherever they can – often creating elaborate mail, email and Internet, and telephone strategies. That's why it's important for seniors to know how to spot a potential scam.

The Impact of Crime

The 2011 AARP Foundation National Fraud Victim Study revealed that only 25 percent of people older than 50 in the U.S. reported to an authority that they had fallen for a scam. According to Statistics Canada, about seven in 10 crimes against older Canadians are never reported to police because victims did not believe the incident was important enough to seek help or because they dealt with the issue personally.

Common Targets for Fraudsters

The "sold" sign posted on the front yard was like a beacon for the con men, who had observed the elderly couple in the process of selling their home to move to an assisted living facility.

Elderly woman reporting a scam.

What to Do if You’ve Been Scammed

There are a variety of senior scams, from sweepstakes and phishing schemes to home improvement and Internet fraud to identity theft. If you or a senior loved one has been the victim of a scam, law enforcement officials recommend quick action.

Tips for Communicating with Aging Parents

Logically, we know our adult parents are not our children. But when communicating with them about sensitive issues, it is easy to slip into sounding "parental" because of the emotions we may be experiencing. Often we are fearful for our parents' safety or are worried about future issues that might arise.

Scam Targets Seniors’ Love of Their Grandchildren

One con game that is reaping devastating consequences throughout North America tugs at the heart strings of what is dearest to many older adults: their grandchildren. As such, the con often is referred to as the "Grandparent Scam" or "Emergency Scam."

Senior Scam Stories

The stories of senior scams are as personal as the people they impact. Following, from the Home Instead Senior Care® network and those working closely with it, is a sampling of "real-life" stories to help educate family caregivers and seniors, and prevent future victims of fraud.

A Fraud Victim’s Embarrassment

Pam's mother is not alone. The incidents of senior scams have skyrocketed over the past 10 years. Con artists are very smart. They are professionals who have honed their skills over a long period of time.

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