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Elder Fraud is on the Rise

August 6, 2022

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A concerned elderly person looking out the window

The FBI’s Elder Fraud Report is a comprehensive document that examines the current scams targeting older Americans who are considered more vulnerable and less tech-savvy.

The 22-page document lists all the different types of scams and details scam victims by age group and state.

Some of the highlights of the report include:

  • 28% of all frauds reported were from victims over 60
  • Older adults reported an average loss of $9,175
  • Almost 2,000 victims reported losing $100,000 or more
  • From 2015-2022 the number of seniors falling victim to scams has doubled
  • Total losses to scams have risen to $1 billion per year

What you can do to prevent your loved ones from getting scammed

Make them aware

The most important thing to do is make sure that your loved one knows they are more likely to be the target of a scam. Be open and honest with them: untrustworthy people will see their age and think they are an easy target. This should make them aware and put them on their guard.

Tell them what to look for

There are several different kinds of scams out there, each with its own angle. The most common are romance or confidence scams, where the scammer pretends to create a deep personal connection with their target. This is sometimes romantic, but can also often be presented as friendship. Seniors who are lonely are particularly vulnerable to this kind of con.

Other situations to watch out for are callers telling seniors that they or someone they know has unpaid debt. Even if they know they don’t have any debt, they may be inclined to ask further about their family and see if they can help. 
Scammers also like to tell their victims that they’ve won something. This could be a cash price, content, drawing, or even an inheritance from a long-lost family member. They then ask for some verifying information to claim the prize, which they then use to their advantage.

There are many more different techniques used by scammers, but if your loved one knows what to look out for, they will be much less likely to become a victim.

If you would like to read the full FBI report, you can do so here.

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