According to an FBI study issued this week, Senior Citizens lose over $1 billion to scammers in 2020.
The FBI discovered that the elderly were the ones who were extorted the most, with slightly over 23,000 victims. California, Florida, and Texas had the largest number of fraud cases.
“Every year, millions of senior Americans become victims of financial fraud or online schemes including romance scams, tech support fraud, and lottery or sweepstakes scams. To take advantage of their victims, criminals win their targets’ trust or employ intimidation and threats, according to Calvin Shivers, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal division. “Once a scam is effective, fraudsters are inclined to keep it continuing since there is a chance of making a lot of money.”
Confidence fraud and romance scams resulted in over $281 million in damages, according to the FBI.
“Romance scams occur when a criminal creates a false online persona in order to acquire a victim’s trust and affection,” according to the FBI. “The fraudster will frequently use religion to gain the victim’s faith. To deceive and/or steal from the victim, the scammer creates the appearance of love or a close relationship. Romance scammers are excellent at what they do, and they will appear sincere, compassionate, and credible.”
Elder Fraud Awareness Day was observed by the Justice Department this week.
“These incidents highlight the significance of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and the ongoing threat presented by all types of elder abuse, including elder fraud schemes that defraud elders of their life savings,” said Civil Division Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael D. Granston.