Nancy Bilyeau, 17 June 2021
People over 60 were the special targets of COVID-19-related Internet schemes and financial fraud in 2020, with 28 percent of the total fraud losses sustained by seniors, according to the FBI.
These Internet fraud schemes reaped approximately $1 billion in losses purely from seniors in 2020, the FBI said in a report released Tuesday.
“This represents an increase of approximately $300 million in losses reported in 2020 versus what was reported by victims over 60 in 2019,” said the report.
The frauds include romance scams, tech support fraud, and lottery or sweepstake scams. “Criminals gain their targets’ trust or use tactics of intimidation and threats to take advantage of their victims,” warns the FBI.
“Once successful, scammers are likely to keep a scheme going because of the prospect of significant financial gain.”
California seniors account for more than $100 million of the losses, according to the report. The other states that have seen the most over-60 losses are Texas, Massachusetts and Florida.