Seniors Lose Millions in Scams and Schemes
In the annual report issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it reported about the scams that seniors most frequently report. The FTC also included in the report its efforts in protecting older consumers from fraud and abuse.
According to the FTC’s report, adults aged 60 and older were more likely to report losing money to certain specific types of fraudulent activities. One of the schemes that have gathered numerous reports is losing money to romance scams and imposter scams.
This type of fraud happens when a scammer impersonates a friend or family member to get money. Also, seniors reported shopping scams.
The report revealed that “older people were more than six times more likely than younger consumers to report losing money to tech support scams. Also, they were three times more likely to report losses due to prize, sweepstakes, and lottery scams.”
The analysis conducted by FTC states that adults over 60 lost substantial amounts of money because of these scams. In fact, older consumers have $84 million in romance scams. Meanwhile, $61 million were lost in imposter scams. On the other hand, the scams involving prizes, sweepstakes, and lottery scams led to a $51 million loss.
The Need for Protecting Seniors from Scams
Commissioner Rohit Chopra announced that the analysis suggests the need for two key actions.
“In my view, this report suggests that the Commission should consider two shifts in strategy to better protect older Americans and other consumers from fraud,” Chopra revealed. He also suggested that the agency should focus on cracking down on “established corporate actors that facilitate and profit from fraud.”
Chopra also encouraged the agency to evaluate whether its involvement with law enforcement is enough to prevent misconduct and “deter fraud in the first place.” Chopra reiterates that FTC “should consider increasing deterrence and consumer recoveries by restating existing legal precedent through rulemaking.”
Recently, the FTC has started a program called the “Pass It On” campaign. This program tries to protect older consumers from fraud by educating them with information and tips. On its website, the agency offers information on a range of scams currently prevalent. The agency also provides recommendations on how to prevent being scammed.
Editor’s note on The Senior Citizen Romance Scam; Imposter Scams:
This piece is to inform you about a recent Senior Citizen Romance Scam, and various Imposter Scams as well.
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