Financial scams targeting older Americans quadrupled in 4 years

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT/WOIO) - A new report finds financial scams targeting older Americans quadrupled in just a four-year period.

The data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found older Americans lost more than $6 billion to theft and fraud between just 2013 and 2017.

Americans between the ages of 70 and 79 took the biggest hit, with an average loss of more than $45,000.

Even sadder, perhaps: The average loss jumped to $50,000 when the theft was committed by someone they knew.

And one third of those fraud and theft victims were over the age of 80.

Seniors are more vulnerable to financial crimes, because they may be experiencing cognitive decline, or may be dependent on family members or a caregiver with access to their money.

So how do you protect seniors?

We recommend at least two other sets of eyes on the books. And it can help to get a professional involved, whether it's a trusted accountant or financial planner.

It's also a good idea to help your parents check their credit reports regularly for fraud. You can pull three free reports per year here.

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