Elder Fraud | Federal Bureau of Investigation
Millions of elderly Americans fall prey to financial fraud or deception schemes, such as romance, lottery, and sweepstakes scams, to name a few.
Elder fraud is likely to become a growing problem as the elderly population grows. Criminals will gain their targets’ trust through computer, phone, and mail, and once successful, scammers will likely keep a scheme going because of the potential for significant financial gain.
What are scams targeting seniors called?
Financial elder abuse, broadly defined as when someone illegally or improperly uses a vulnerable senior’s money or other property, is the fastest-growing form of elder abuse. Most states now have laws that make elder financial abuse a crime and provide ways to help the senior while punishing the scammer.
What are examples of frauds and scams aimed at older consumers?
In 2021, the Top Scams Aimed at Seniors
- Phony online shopping websites.
- Celebrity impostor scams.
- Online romance scams.
- Medicare card scams.
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment scams.
- Social Security scam calls.
How can elderly prevent scams?
8 Money Scam Prevention Tips for Seniors
- Don’t isolate yourselfu2014stay involved!
- Tell solicitors: “I never buy from (or give to) anyone who calls or visits me unannounced.”
- Shred all receipts containing your credit card number.
What scams do old people fall for?
Learn how to spot and avoid the most common scams so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe from financial exploitation.
- Scams involving government impostors. Scams involving Medicare/health insurance. Scams involving computer tech support. Scams involving sweepstakes.
How do you outsmart a romance scammer?
How Can You Avoid Being Conned By A Romance Scammer?
- Check their images.
- Scan their profile for loopholes.
- Look for inconsistencies in their communication.
- Take things slowly.
- Don’t share financial details/passwords.
- Talk to someone you trust.
How can you tell if someone is a romance scammer?
Romance scammers tell lies, and there are warning signs to look out for.
- They’re far away. A romance scammer’s background is one of the first red flags.
- Their profile appears too good to be true.
- The relationship moves quickly.
- They break promises to visit.
- They claim they need money.
- They request specific payment methods.
What do you do when someone takes advantage of the elderly?
Here are some things to think about:
- Talk to the older person.
- Get more information or evidence about what’s going on.
- Contact the older person’s financial institution.
- Contact your local Adult Protective Services (APS) office.
How can I protect my elderly parents phone scams?
Other things to think about
- Put your parents’ phone numbers on opt-out lists with the Direct Marketing Association so scammers can’t get them.
- Check their credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com to make sure no fraudulent new accounts have been opened in their names.
How do I protect myself against phone scams?
Defend Yourself Against Grant Scams
- By calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the phone number you wish to register.
Can a romance scammer fall in love?
Romance scammers profess love quickly, without ever meeting you, and may even claim to be in love with you, but it’s all a ruse to get you to hand over personal information and answers to the security questions you use to lock down your online accounts.
What do you do if someone defrauds you?
Order your credit reports and read them for accuracy. Put a fraud alert on your credit files. Go to your local police station and file a police report, bringing all of the evidence you have of the crime with you. Contact your creditors and ask for your accounts to be closed or for account numbers to be changed.
Who falls for scams the most?
Year after year, we’ve discovered that the age group most vulnerable to scams is 18u201324 years old: in 2020, 56.6% of those who were exposed to a scam lost money, compared to less than one-third (31.9%) of those 65 and older who were exposed.