A recent survey found that one in five Americans aged 71 and older have been taken in some kind of financial con and about half of respondents said they had experienced an attempted fraud, such as being pitched foreign lottery tickets or an unsuitable investment.
Now a coalition of financial and medical professionals is teaming up to try to protect people vulnerable to exploitation. Doctors in 22 states are becoming the front line in assessing who has been stung by a scam and who may be vulnerable. It's an attempt to thwart a problem that causes $2.6 billion in financial losses a year. And with people 65 and older getting hooked onto the Internet in unprecedented numbers, unscrupulous con artists are finding new ways to target people through email and social networking.