Tech-support top fraud issue reported by older adults

Last week the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history.  More than two million Americans, largely seniors, were victimized by more than 260 defendants from around the globe in these cases.  Total alleged losses from the elder fraud financial schemes were over three fourths of one billion dollars.  This DOJ interactive map provides details on its cases.

An increasingly more common form of elder fraud is the technical-support (tech-support) scam.  This is where criminals trick victims into giving remote access to their computers while pretending to give technical support.  According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), older adults are the hardest hit by such scams.  The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network received nearly 143,000 reports with a loss of $55 million on tech support scams in 2018.  Consumers 60 and over filed more loss reports on tech-support scams from 2015 to 2018 than on any other type of fraud reported to the Consumer Sentinel Network. The median individual reported loss to tech-support scams was $400, however, people 60 and over reported a 25 percent higher median loss of $500.


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