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Older Americans were defrauded of $3.4 billion in 2023

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Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said earlier in April that authorities in New York had uncovered a multimillion-dollar scam in which victims had been convinced that it was wise to invest in cryptocurrencies. Photo: Jennifer Peltz / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 30.04.2024 17:54:02

Crime and justice: The number of losses increases year by year, as do the methods used by fraudsters to get victims to provide codes and other information. Sometimes the fraudsters even send their own couriers who collect cash or gold from the elderly, and who undertake to place them in a safe place.

The increase was 11 percent for people over the age of 60, writes the FBI. The increase was particularly strong during the covid pandemic when many people stayed at home and more easily fell victim to fraudsters who tried to use the phone.

– It can be completely devastating for older Americans who do not have the opportunity to take up a job to earn money. People lose everything they have, and some become simply destitute, says Deputy Director James Barnacle at the FBI’s division for this type of offence.

Last year, the federal police received over 100,000 reports from people over the age of 60 who had lost money or valuables. Almost six thousand people were defrauded of over 100,000 dollars each.

Barnacle says FBI investigators uncover a myriad of techniques, ranging from fake romances to fictitious investment projects. Behind the scenes, the FBI often finds organized, multinational companies that target the elderly.

A common procedure that increased last year is fraudsters who call and pretend to be customer service personnel or technical support personnel in various services such as banks or public offices. They tell the victims that they are exposed to hacking and that they must confirm that they want to transfer the money to a secure account. Thus it is done.

(© NTB)

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