Elder fraud festers out of control

As legislatures around the world try to get a handle on the growth of ransomware, another category of cybercrime is festering out of control: Elder fraud.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported more than 100,000 people in the US, 60 years and older, lost $3.4 billion total to digital scams. The IC3 pointed out that the elderly are half as likely to report a loss. So the actual crimes and losses are probably much higher.

In contrast, the total ransomware payouts last year from reporting companies was $1.1 billion according to Chainanalysis. While the total number of fraud reports to the IC3 appears to have leveled off after years of growth, elder fraud increased by 14 percent year on year.

“Combatting the financial exploitation of those over 60 years of age continues to be a priority of the FBI,” wrote FBI Assistant Director Michael D. Nordwall, who leads the Bureau’s Criminal Investigative Division, in the report. “Along with our partners, we continually work to aid victims and to identify and investigate the individuals and criminal organizations that perpetrate these schemes and target the elderly.” 

Who is vulnerable?

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