Health Care Services

Study: Falling for Phone Scams Could be an Early Sign of Dementia

Every year, $3 billion is stolen or defrauded from millions of seniors, according to the US Department of Justice. Sometimes, good judgment amounts to hanging up the phone: Older adults who find it difficult to end a conversation with bogus telemarketers may be at risk for dementia, new research suggests.

Within a large group of older people showing no signs of dementia, those with little to no awareness of possible telephone fraud proved to be at higher risk for mild cognitive decline and, in some cases, Alzheimer’s disease compared with those with a greater consciousness of potential cons, according to the study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.