Defending seniors from moneygrubbers
Defending seniors from moneygrubbers
Helen Karr, 78

On crusade since: 1998

Day job: Lawyer, San Francisco district attorney's office

Achievement: Pushed for a California law to protect older adults from financial predators

Why she's a hero: A California beauty-salon manager for 25 years, Karr often heard tales of financial abuse, such as that of an elderly widower out $100,000 to his bank teller "friend."

Armed with a law degree earned at age 64, Karr spent years cajoling legislators and bankers until, in 2007, the state began requiring banks and credit unions to report suspicious activity in elders' accounts.

Says Karr: "Elders have saved, and their children are in debt. Some of them want their money early."

By Penelope Wang and Joan Caplin @Money - Last updated July 11 2012: 12:39 PM ET
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