FBI warns about increase in scams against seniors

FBI warns about increase in scams against seniors

Washington — Scammers stole a total of $3.4 billion from seniors in USA last year, according to an FBI report released Tuesday that reveals the rise of the practice through sophisticated tactics designed to strip victims of their life savings.

Scam losses against Americans over 60 increased 11% last year compared to the previous year, report says. Authorities warn that tactics such as sending couriers in person to victims’ homes to collect cash or gold are on the rise.

“It can be a devastating blow to senior citizens who do not have the ability to go to work and earn money,” said James Barnacle, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Criminal Investigations Division. “There are people who lose all their money, who end up destitute.”

The FBI received more than 100,000 reports of scams against people over 60 last year, and nearly 6,000 of those people lost more than $100,000. This comes after a sharp increase in embezzlements against the elderly during the two years following the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, when people could not leave the house and fell more easily victim to telephone scammers.

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