A top trend highlighted in the latest FBI Internet Crime Report is the rise in fraudsters targeting individuals 60 years of age and older.
While not all crime reports include a victim’s age, fraudsters do appear to especially target older individuals. “Victims over the age of 60 are targeted by perpetrators because they are believed to have significant financial resources,” the FBI says.
Top scams encountered by older victims include:
• Advance fee schemes, which involve securing advance payment for goods or services that never arrive;
• Investment fraud schemes;
• Romance scams;
• Tech-support scams, with 84% of all known 2020 losses – more than $116 million – tracing to individuals age 60 and over;
• Grandparent scams, in which fraudsters pretend to be a relative of the victim who’s in distress;
• Government impersonation scams;
• Sweepstakes/charity/lottery scams;
• Home repair scams;
• TV/radio scams;
• Family/caregiver scams, which may lure victims into applying for fake jobs and being tricked into handling stolen goods or rerouting stolen funds.
“If the perpetrators are successful after initial contact, they will often continue to victimize these individuals,” the FBI says.