More Scammers Targeting Cognitively Impaired Seniors
Penn's Jason Karlawish Calls for 'Rebooting' National Approach to Problem
The scamming of seniors suffering various levels of cognitive decline has become so common an activity across the country that we need to "reboot" our national approach to the problem, said LDI Senior Fellow Jason Karlawish in a Philadelphia Inquirer article.
Karlawish, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine, Director of the Penn Neurodegenerative Disease Ethics and Policy Program, and Associate Director of the Penn Memory Center.
The article recapped his appearance at a United Way panel discussion on the financial abuse of the elderly. The discussion followed the screening of a new short film, "Fleeced," that details elder financial abuse.
The panel estimated that seniors have lost $2.9 billion in financial scams during the last decade. Karlawish pointed out that "there are changes at the neural level that are tied to judgement" among many seniors and that makes them unusually vulnerable to scammers.
In many cases, the scams convince a senior to withdraw a large amount of money from a bank or investment institution and Karlawish called for action by the financial service industry to establish better safeguards in this area.