Crooks succeeded in taking significantly more money from older adults in 2021 than the year before through investment, business impersonation and government impersonation scams, according to a new report to Congress from the Federal Trade Commission.
According to the report, consumers 60 and older filed 467,340 fraud reports with reported losses of more than $1 billion. This was an increase of nearly 40 percent in the number of fraud reports in 2020 when people in that age group filed 334,411 fraud reports with reported losses of more than $600 million. The FTC says the vast majority of frauds are not reported, adding that these numbers include only a fraction of older adults harmed by fraud.
The FTC says the vast majority of frauds are not reported, adding that these numbers include only a fraction of older adults harmed by fraud. To make matters worse, older adults who do report fraud often lose larger sums than their younger counterparts. However, older adults are less likely to report losing money to fraud than younger people. Among the possible explanations for this, the FTC said, could be that older people may be more likely to “avoid losing money when exposed to fraud (or be) more inclined to report fraud when no loss has occurred.”
“Older adults continued to be much more likely than younger adults to report losing money on tech support scams, prize, sweepstakes and lottery scams, and family and friend impersonation,” the report states.
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