New report shows the Virginia elderly lost millions last year

Published: Jan. 2, 2017 at 5:28 PM EST
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Seniors seem to get hit harder by scammers than any other group, and new numbers just reinforce that thought.

A new review estimates last year in Virginia the elderly were exploited for $28.2 million.

The review was requested by the 2016 General Assembly.

Some experts say the $28.2 million estimate is probably nowhere close to the actual number, because only 1 in 44 cases are reported to officials. Most say the real number is probably more than $1 billion.

Leaders in our area say the elderly are targeted for a number of reasons, but a lot of it comes from wanting to stay independent.

"I think it is a generational issue of trusting people who call, trusting people who show up at the door, trying to be sure that you have covered all your bases, and that all your affairs are in order," said Jeri Schaff, the Executive Director of the Valley Program for Aging Services.

Schaff says she believes there isn't one clear solution, but that it begins with everyone helping, and educating the elderly.