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Millions lost in elder scams every year

Scammers usually try to target vulnerable populations, including the elderly. Men and women who are over the age of 60 lose hundreds of millions of dollars every year on internet scams alone. This does not even include phone or mail scams, which also lead to significant financial losses. Adults living in Lake Charles may want to help their parents watch out for some of these common elder scams.

In 2019, phishing was the top scam. Phishing — also called vishing, smishing and pharming — involves sending out fraudulent and unsolicited emails, texts or phone calls that appear to be from legitimate companies. Scammers use phishing to try and get personal information, like financial account logins.

While phishing generally involves strangers, confidence fraud — sometimes referred to as romance fraud — hits a lot closer to home. This scam involves someone who is close to the victim, like a family member, friend or even romantic interest. The perpetrator may persuade the victim to send him or her money, or personal financial information. The victim might even be tricked into laundering money.

This problem is a lot bigger than most people realize. In 2019, the FBI went after more than 260 people who were accused of defrauding approximately two million elderly victims. The total losses came out to around $750 million.

Scammers tend to target men and women over the age of 60 because they believe that this age group has access to more assets and financial resources than others. This leaves adults who have spent their entire lives saving for retirement in compromised situations, sometimes unable to provide themselves during retirement. Seeking compensation for elder scams can be key to protecting these victims’ futures, so it could be helpful to speak with an experienced attorney who understands the unique needs of people in Lake Charles.

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