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Study: Seniors big target for scammers

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ATLANTA -

Local senior care experts warn that the elderly population has become a big target for scammers. With the growing number of elderly, and more sophisticated scammers, the combination can be a recipe for disaster.

According to a Met Life study, elder financial abuse racked up a $2.9 billion cost. The study also says that cost is increasing.

First, Medicaid and Medicare scams have the highest average loss per consumer -- $38,000. So, make sure you're not being doubled billed. And be sure that no one else is using your patient number and billing to you.

Second, there is medication fraud.  If you're paying for a brand name prescription, make sure you're not getting the generic brand.

Third, general financial exploitation can take many forms. The elderly get lonely, and this is where a good con man steps in. The con man befriends them, and then takes over their accounts, or maybe a will. He may convince an elderly person into paying much more for a service than they need to be paying.

So, what can you do?

If you're not around, make sure your elderly parents or relatives have someone around they can trust. Always double check their finances to make sure money is being spent the way it is supposed be.

For a links on the issue, and more tips, visit Dana Fowle's FOX 5 Facebook page.

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