FBI Issues Warning About Increasing Rates Of Elderly Fraud

October 31, 2023

Financial fraud in the United States has become a big problem. Examples of financial fraud include email scams, phishing, identity theft, credit card fraud, and more. Unfortunately, the older generation has suffered the most from this increase. The FBI revealed that elder fraud increased by 84% from 2021 to 2022. This significant uptick is due to evolving technologies that allow more sophisticated scams.

Fear Tactic Scams

One method thieves use to scam older adults is claiming to work for a legitimate business or organization when contacting the individual. They convince the person to provide personal information due to fake complications concerning accounts or payment failures. The scammer then uses this information to steal the victim’s identity or money.

Scammers often use fear tactics to convince you to act quickly. Never let them pressure you into acting. Government agencies will not contact you without warning, ask for money, or request sensitive information. They will not ask you to transfer money into prepaid Visa cards or perform other suspicious transactions. 

The Dos and Don’ts Against Scams

Government agency representatives will never contact you through phone, email, or text for your personal details or money. Anyone who does is attempting to scam you. Do not give them money or personal information, even if you believe their claims. Instead, learn what you can about the agency they represent and their name, then end the conversation.

You should look up the agency’s phone number and contact them directly to ask about the situation. This action ensures thieves do not take your money. You should also follow this procedure for business calls, texts, or emails asking for money or personal information. Genuine representatives from legitimate businesses will understand and cooperate with your caution.

According to the FBI, older adults should watch out for Phantom Hacker Scams. In this scam, someone claiming to work in tech support will contact a victim and explain that they are in danger of being hacked. Following this warning is a call from someone else. This person explains that someone has hacked the victim’s financial accounts. This fear tactic pushes you to believe your information is compromised, making you more willing to give them information or access your accounts.

Final Thoughts

Older adults are frequent targets for scammers. As such, older individuals should refuse to give their information or transfer money to anyone they do not know. You must make sure you know who is contacting you and whether the need makes sense. 

Contact law enforcement and your financial institution if you believe you are a victim of identity theft or a financial scam. You should also obtain a credit report to check for unexpected accounts opened in your name. In addition, consider running a self-background check. A self-check will inform you whether someone has used your name when committing crimes.

You can stay one step ahead of hackers and identity thieves by running a quick self background check. Click here to get started.