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Technology has brought us great progress. Unfortunately, it has also brought significant risks. Criminals can now victimize people from across the world. And they can now reach our vulnerable friends and family in the privacy of their own homes. According to the FBI’s 2021 Elder Fraud Report, “In 2021, over 92,000 victims over the age of sixty reported losses of $1.7 billion to the [Internet Crime Complaint Center]. This represents a 74 percent increase in losses over losses reported in 2020.”  Idaho seniors lost over four million dollars in 2021.

Scams often focus on seniors who are dealing with loneliness, despondency, diminishing faculties, or other frailties of age. A scam that may be obvious to you and me, and would have been obvious to your loved one only recently, may now be a serious risk.

I recall reading on CNN.com about an elderly man diagnosed with early-onset dementia. In most aspects of his life, he was still fully functional.

Unfortunately, he gave a few hundred dollars to what turned out to be a scam promising him money. This unleashed a torrent of aggressive tactics hounding him for more money. Eventually, this man took his own life to get away from the harassment. However, he left a note explaining how he wanted to have spent the promised money he still believed would arrive the next day. Even when a scam does not have such tragic results, too often a lifetime of savings has vanished.

No doubt the best solution is to avoid the scam in the first place. However, it can be difficult for vulnerable individuals to be constantly diligent in the face of repeated and insidious requests, whether blatantly aggressive or deceptively subtle.

There are steps that can be taken to ensure a weak moment does not turn into a drained bank account. Come to a free, no-obligation presentation to find out how your vulnerable loved ones can be protected from predators, and other simple solutions to protect your estate.