Fraud Scheme

Scams in 2022 Cost Elderly Hundreds of Millions of Dollars: AARP

NBC 7 Responds looked at some of the most common scams targeting an at-risk population

NBC Universal, Inc.

When it comes to scams everyone is fair game, but some groups of the population are more at risk than others. This Sunday is National Senior Fraud Awareness Day and NBC 7 Responds looked at some of the most common scams targeting the at-risk population.

"This crime has reached a level of an epidemic," said Kathy Stokes, Director of Fraud Prevention at AARP. "I looked at the Federal Trade Commission, they reported 96,000 victims over the age of 60 just in January, February and March, along with losses of $300 million."

But it's not just life savings that are at risk.

"There can also be emotional and health impacts," said Stokes.

AARP says the most common scams targeting the elderly are:

  1. Romance Scams
  2. Fake Online Shopping
  3. False Utility Representatives
  4. Imposter Government Agents

Stokes says often groups behind these have well-trained and motivated personnel who use high-pressure tactics and even threats to get what they want.

"They know how to get a target to become a victim," said Stokes. "It's all about getting that person to a heightened emotional state."

That's why it's so important to have conversations with family members. AARP has resources on their website to help clear up doubts, including a volunteer call center which you reach at 877-908-3360.

"If you know about a certain scam, you're 80% less likely to engage with it," said Stokes. "If you do engage with it, you're then 40% less likely to lose money or personal information, so having the conversations is very important."

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