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The FBI’s Peter Strzok spends 10 hours in open testimony in Congress. Also on the Friday rundown: Granite Staters protest AG Sessions' approach to fighting opioid abuse, and Latino Conservation Week starts on Saturday.

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Kentucky Makes Elder Abuse a "Community Issue"

This is World Elder Abuse Awareness Da,y and scams targeting seniors are among the problems getting attention in Kentucky. (Greg Stotelmyer)
This is World Elder Abuse Awareness Da,y and scams targeting seniors are among the problems getting attention in Kentucky. (Greg Stotelmyer)
June 15, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. – This is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and in Kentucky, the state attorney general says the only way to truly address the problem is as a community.

Andy Beshear says the abuse faced by seniors comes in a variety of forms.

"They deserve to age in dignity, free from physical and financial abuse, as well as emotional abuse," he states.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, an estimated 5 million older Americans a year are victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation – and experts maintain that for every reported case, as many as 23 more go unreported.

Beshear says his office receives thousands of calls a year reporting scams, many targeting older Kentuckians.

"It is now an everyday occurrence,” he states. “We don't have a single day that goes by that we don't have a report of scams, and we're only getting a few of the calls.

“The best thing that we can do to protect our people is to educate them to not fall for them in the first place."

Charles Williams from La Grange says he was snared by a computer repair scam over the phone.

"I'm not proud of it, and we can always start off by saying, 'You don't know what you don't know,'” he relates. “So, I did not know at the time it was a scam, and that's the case with people who get scammed."

His advice to others is to open up to trusted resources.

For example, Williams has become a volunteer with AARP and says he often consults the
AARP Fraud Watch Network.

Last month, the attorney general, along with 25 partner organizations, launched Scam Alerts, a text messaging service that notifies consumers when con artists are on the attack in Kentucky.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY