Fraud against the elderly on the rise

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Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - David Dycus

MURRAY, KY. - With the punch of the keys on an ATM, Murray Police say Esther McMahon withdrew $53,000 from a woman's account she was placed in charged of four years ago.

It happens more than we'd like to think or maybe more than it's talked about," said Eric Kelleher.

He's the director of the Murray Calloway County Senior Citizen's Center. During his 20 year tenure, he said he's heard it all. "You have to be on your toes all the time," Kelleher said.

Money fraud has become so much of a hot topic at the card tables, Kelleher now offers classes on how to protect yourself or a relative.

"We try to just sort of keep in front of the people's minds you know that hey there are people out there that want to take advantage of you," he said.

Kelleher said never give out your social security number especially over the phone. Also, check references if you hire a caretaker and even conduct a background check.

Barbara Pursley was dealt a bad hand years ago. She was scammed out of $800. "Don't believe no body. I have to see it to believe it," Pursley said.

Kelleher believes the elderly are the most vulnerable because of their upbringing and the advancement of technology. "They did business deals by the shake of a hand.and pretty much their word was their bond," he said.

McMahon faces a charge of exploiting an adult of more than $300. She's in the Calloway County Jail. 

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