By all accounts, the elderly are vulnerable targets for financial scammers. Americans are living longer, cognitive impairment rates are rising, and many observers describe today's seniors as generally trusting and unsuspicious.

All this makes for fertile territory for those looking to bilk seniors out of their money, a racket that amounts to nearly $3 billion annually, by one estimate. But that likely only scratches the surface, as experts say most cases go unreported.

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