Why The Elderly Are Vulnerable To Financial Scams

November 12, 2013

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to money trouble, especially when confronted with a barrage of mail-order offers, solicitor calls, and door-to-door salesmen.

Greater Boston's Jared Bowen reports on a cautionary tale- one Massachusetts woman who discovered her mother’s spending habits long after they spiraled out of control.

After North Shore resident Cris Brueggeman's father died, she noticed her then 79-year-old mother's mental acuity was slipping. Then what had been concerning became startling- she received a phone call from her mother's bank. Her mother had cashed in six CDs.

After flying to her mother's home in Indiana, Brueggeman discovered behavior she did not recognize. She began to investigate why her financially secure and otherwise frugal mother was cashing in CDs, she made a host of discoveries. She had fallen victim to financial predators.


  • Elizabeth Gehrman, a frequent contributor to Boston Globe Magazine who recently relocated to Buffalo to help care for her ailing mother
  • Steven Cohena leading elder attorney who helps families with asset protection and estate planning, also joined the conversation. 

WGBH News is covering the issues surrounding caring for elderly parents this week. Check out the series here: You're Not Alone.

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