: The holidays are prime time for scammers — and seniors are their favorite targets

by | Oct 20, 2022 | Stock Market

When consumer spending increases, fraud activity increases as well. But you can avoid falling victim to cyber fraud during the holiday shopping season. “Cybercrime has gotten more sinister and significant,” said Mike Steinbach, the head of Citibank’s fraud prevention unit. “The American public needs to know fraud has evolved. You shouldn’t be waiting on monthly, quarterly reports. You should be checking your accounts regularly.”

The number of older victims has risen at an alarming rate, and the amounts they have lost are staggering. In 2021, more than 92,000 victims over the age of 60 reported losses of $1.7 billion to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That represents a 74% increase in losses compared with losses reported in 2020. Among older victims, the most common crimes were tech-support scams, identity theft, and nonpayment for or nondelivery of goods or services, the FBI said. But the crimes that raked in the most money included romance and confidence schemes, which totaled $432 million in losses. Also read: Tech support fraud is the biggest scam for people over 60, taking them for millions—here are the red flags to watch for “Fraudsters have cyber tools to target phones and emails en masse and they’re hoping for someone to bite. All it takes is for one person to take the bait,” Steinbach said. “Some are very easy to see. Some are very hard to see. Some sound and look very legitimate.” “All ages and all demographics are at risk. No one is immune — everyone is a potential target. But the elderl …

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