How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Elderly Fraud

July 03, 2024 by First Federal Bank

FraudThere are many different types of fraud today. Perhaps one of the most heinous are scams that target the elderly. One news station recently reported how this type of fraud is on the rise, and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming victims:

According to the FBI, there have already been $1.6 billion in losses from January to May of 2024, up nearly $300 million from the same time period last year. In 2023, a total of $3.4 billion losses were reported.


Empowering our seniors and their friends and family with education surrounding elder fraud schemes is critical to protecting them and their hard-earned money, said Assistant Director Michael Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. Unfortunately, elder fraud remains one of the most devasting violations we work in the FBI. The effects of these elaborate schemes go far beyond just financial losses. It robs an already vulnerable population of their sense of security." 

The most common scams include tech support scams, confidence and romance scams, investment scams, and government impersonation scams.

The FBI recommends the following steps to help protect yourself:

  • Search online for the contact information (name, phone number, email, addresses) of any unknown source which reaches out to you, as well as the proposed offer. Verify the legitimacy of businesses on websites such as Better Business Bureau. Other people have likely posted information online about businesses and individuals attempting to run scams.
  • Resist the pressure to act quickly. Scammers create a sense of urgency to lure victims into immediate action, typically by instilling trust and inducing empathy or fear, or the promise of monetary gains, companionship, or employment opportunities.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, mailings, and door-to-door service offers.
  • Never give or send to unverified people or businesses any personally-identifiable information, money, checks, gift cards, or wire information.
  • Take precautionary measures to protect your identity should a criminal gain access to your device or account. Immediately contact your financial institutions to place protections on your accounts and monitor for suspicious activity.
  • If you believe you or someone you know may have been a victim of elder fraud, contact your local FBI office or submit a complaint on The FBI recommends documenting the name of the scammer/company, how they contacted you,  dates of contact, methods of payment, where funds may have been sent, and a thorough description of the interactions.

You can read the full article here.

Older people are targeted for scams for a number of reasons. Once you understand why and how this takes place, you can arm yourself with the tools you need to ensure it doesn’t happen to you or someone you love.

Categories: Financial Education

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