Over 60s are being robbed of $20bn a year by friends and family – as experts warn ‘financial abuse’ cases have more than doubled since 2020
- In nearly one in four ‘financial abuse’ cases, victims know their abuser
- Report warns over-60s are being stripped of their retirement savings
- Have you been a victim of financial abuse or do you know someone who has been? Email: email@example.com
Older Americans lose $20.3 billion each year to “financial abuse” by friends and family, a shocking new report reveals.
Experts have warned that adults over 60 are being “robbed of a significant portion of their retirement savings” by loved ones who misuse their funds, property or assets.
According to the report of American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
In total, that means the over-60s are being cheated out of $28.3 billion a year, exacerbating the growing retirement crisis in the United States, which is forcing older people to return to the workplace to cope. to the soaring cost of living.
People who are scammed by someone they know tend to suffer higher losses – around $50,000 compared to $17,000 lost to strangers, the report adds.
Over 60s get scammed out of $28.3 billion a year, according to a report by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
But researchers say the true figure is likely to be even higher due to the number of unreported cases. They added that the vast majority of victims do not get their money back.
Some 72% of victims who know they have been financially abused by someone they know do not report the crime – often because they do not want to shame their caregivers or family members.
Jilenne Gunther, Director of BankSafe at AARP, said: ‘While strangers often rely on quick and irreversible transactions such as gift cards or wire transfers, perpetrators who know the victim are more likely to gain access. directly to the bank accounts of their victims.
“The keys to stopping this growing problem are consumer education, training for front-line employees, and enhanced technology for reporting suspicious activity.”
A separate study by the AARP Public Policy Institute found that the rate of financial abuse has more than doubled since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.
The outbreak has been attributed to the growing isolation of older people during the lockdown, which has prevented them from regularly visiting doctors’ surgeries, senior centers, churches and community initiatives.
Such interactions can prove critical to keeping older households safe, as peers can often spot the subtle signs of financial abuse – before the victim realizes what is going on.
The study was conducted in collaboration with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) and the University of Chicago.
Older Americans lose $20.3 billion each year to ‘financial abuse’ by friends and family – and another $8 billion to strangers
Researchers analyzed data from the Consumer Sentinel Network, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), and reports of suspicious financial abuse of older adults.
The report warns that the scale of financial abuse is having “ripple effects” within society, resulting in billions of dollars in losses for the financial sector – for which “consumers end up paying”.
It comes after senators warned that older Americans are increasingly falling victim to ‘AI voice clone’ scams.
Fraudsters can now imitate a victim’s voice using just a three-second audio snippet, often stolen from social media profiles.
It is then used in phone calls to friends or family members to convince them that they are in trouble and in dire need of money.
Last month, Sen. Mike Braun, the top Republican on the Senate Special Committee on Aging, led a bipartisan letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging the agency to investigate the scam.
The letter, seen by FoxNewsread: ‘In one case, a scammer used this approach to convince an older couple that the scammer was their grandson who desperately needed money to post bail, and the couple nearly lost $9,400 before that a bank official does the alert of potential fraud.
“Similarly, in Arizona, a con artist posing as a kidnapper used voice cloning technology to duplicate the sounds of a mother’s crying daughter and demand ransom.”