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Delaware’s elderly lose over $14 Million to fraud

Bryan ShupeBusiness

Delaware’s elderly has lost over $14 million to fraud

 

  • Delaware has lost $14,023,134 to elderly fraud, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data.
  • The state has had an average of 106.6 fraud victims per 100,000 elderly residents.
  • Those aged 60 or over were 517% more likely to be victims of a tech support scam than those aged between 18 and 59.

 

New research has revealed a concerning trend in Delaware: the state’s elderly population has lost over $14 million to fraud. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Delaware reported a total loss of $14,023,134 due to fraudulent activities targeting older residents. The study, conducted by cybersecurity experts at VPNPro, analyzed data from the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to understand the scope of elderly fraud in 2022.

The analysis focused on victims aged 60 and over, examining their proportion relative to the state’s elderly population. Delaware recorded 305 elderly fraud victims, translating to an average of 106.6 victims per 100,000 elderly residents. This statistic underscores the vulnerability of the older demographic to scams, with each victim losing an average of $45,977. Nationally, investment scams emerged as the most costly type of fraud, with elderly victims losing a total of $404 million.

 

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Business imposters and romance scams followed, with losses amounting to $271 million and $240 million, respectively. Online fraud has been identified as the most prevalent method of deceiving elderly individuals, resulting in losses of $564 million. This figure dwarfs the $90 million lost to text scams, highlighting the internet as a critical battleground for fraud prevention. Payment methods also shed light on how fraudsters operate. Bank payments or transfers are the most common methods used by scammers, accounting for a total loss of $570 million.

Interestingly, cryptocurrency, often perceived as a secure transaction medium, is the second most popular method, with elderly victims losing $288 million. One particularly alarming statistic is that those aged 60 or over are 517% more likely to fall prey to tech support scams compared to individuals aged 18 to 59. This staggering figure suggests a targeted exploitation of older adults’ potential unfamiliarity with modern technology. These findings call for increased awareness and protective measures to safeguard the elderly from fraud.

As scams grow more sophisticated, both public and private sectors must collaborate to enhance education, tighten regulations, and develop robust cybersecurity defenses. For Delaware’s aging population, the financial and emotional toll of fraud is significant. As the state works to address this issue, the broader community must remain vigilant to protect its most vulnerable members from falling victim to these increasingly prevalent scams.

 

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SourcesFederal Bureau of InvestigationFederal Trade Commission, US Census

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