Scammers Steal $3.4 Billion from Older Americans in a Single Year

According to an FBI report released in late April, scammers using ever more sophisticated tactics looted older Americans out of $3.4 billion in 2023. Losses rose more than 11% over 2022 among Americans over age 60. Investigators warn of increasingly brazen schemes that can involve sending couriers in person to collect cash or gold from victims. The FBI received more than 100,000 complaints from scam victims over age 60, noting that nearly 6,000 people lost more than $100,000. Investigators said they are seeing “organized transnational enterprises,” with the most common reported frauds involving romance, investments, and tech support scams. One increasingly popular scam has criminals posing as technology, banking, or government officials telling victims that foreign hackers have infiltrated their bank accounts and instructing them to move their money to a new account to protect their funds. The new account, of course, is controlled by the scammers. Last year also saw a rise in scammers using live couriers to pick up money from victims, ostensibly to protect it after their accounts have been hacked. This approach may be presented as a “safe alternative” when a victim is reluctant to do a wire or cryptocurrency transfer. In which case the avoidance of one perceived scam risk leads to a different one.

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