The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that 5.7 million people filed fraud reports in 2021. Collectively they lost more than $5.8 billion to fraud. That’s a $2.4 billion jump in losses from the previous year.
From cryptocurrency scams to imposter scams, suspicious activity is on the rise. And you might be surprised by who is falling victim to some of these scams. The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book reports that individuals ages 20-29 reported losing money to fraud more often than people ages 80 and over. However, when older adults did lose money, they lost three times the median amount that the younger adults lost.
The top three most-reported categories in 2021 were identity theft, imposter scams, and credit bureaus/information furnishers/report users. Nearly 600,000 individuals filed reports about credit bureaus last year.
One common type of imposter scam that often targets older adults is the romance scam. A fake identity is created and used to establish a relationship between the scammer and their target, often via social media. At some point, the scammer will ask for money.
Scammers often use psychological tactics to manipulate their targets. This can drive a wedge between older adults and their families.
Scam and Fraud Prevention
As scammers grow increasingly sophisticated and use tools like social media, it’s important to educate yourself and your loved ones about red flags to avoid. Block unwanted calls and text messages. Never provide your personal or financial information for a request that you weren’t anticipating.
Resist any pressure to take immediate action, especially when money is involved. Scammers will often ask you to pay with a gift card, money transfer service, or by depositing a check and sending money back to them.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.