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Elder Wire Fraud Scams Rising, resulting in Huge Losses

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May 15, 2024 •  Emily Hicks Law, PLLC
Elder fraud is on the rise, particularly elder web-based fraud to the tune of 12.5 billion dollars in 2023.

The U.S. Department of Justice recently brought charges against 16 individuals involved in a scam that targeted hundreds of elderly Americans, resulting in significant financial losses. This incident highlights the pervasive issue of online fraud, particularly targeting older individuals.

The FBI and DOJ have reported alarming statistics, indicating that elder fraud is on the rise, with losses exceeding billions of dollars annually, specifically 12.5 billion in 2023. According to the IC3 2023 Annual Report, the three costliest web-based crimes were investment fraud ($4.57 billion), business email compromise ($2.9 billion), and impersonation scams like tech/customer support or government ($1.3 billion). These scams are often perpetrated through sophisticated transnational call centers.

To combat this, it's crucial to promptly report any incidents to authorities and financial institutions. Preventative measures include regular check-ins on elderly relatives, implementing account restrictions, and establishing verification processes for financial transactions.

What do you do if you suspect elder abuse?

Florida Statute 415.0134 requires anyone who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited to file a report by contacting the Florida Abuse Hotline toll-free at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

Reference: The National Law Review, May 15, 2024, Daniel J. Fortune and Cara Rice. Elder Wire Fraud Scams Rising, Produce Huge Losses

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