Neuroscientists and gerontologists see evidence that people become more vulnerable to financial exploitation as they age. Con artists, fraudsters, even family, friends, and caregivers take money from seniors and abuse their trust. According to researchers, the shame of these crimes prevents victims from reporting or talking about them, creating a crucial public policy issue.
The Marketplace team presents stories of fraud victims and their families from across the U.S., including a 78-year-old substitute school nurse, who lost more than $230,000 in what started as a computer support scam, and mushroomed into a blizzard of gift card purchases and a bank transfer to Nepal.
Supported by a wide range of nationally-recognized experts – from the Stanford Center on Longevity, to an elder justice advocate recognized by a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant, to the grandson of the New York philanthropist at the center of the most high-profile case of elder financial fraud this century – "Brains and Losses" presents solutions journalism for audiences who want to protect themselves and their loved ones as they grow older.
This highly relevant new special is paired for Mental Health Awareness Month (May) and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15), and complements on-air reporting segments on Marketplace Morning Report from May 17-24.