FBI warns of more scammers targeting elders

Community By Linda Trischitta, Editor Thursday, June 20, 2024

     Florida is second in the nation for fraud committed against elders, who may be motivated by fear, loneliness or the illusion of a quick profit to follow instructions from a stranger who approaches their door, on their phone or via email or text, the FBI says.

     The bureau has issued warnings in May and June about the spike in such crimes that have led to losses of $1.6 billion nationwide in the first five months of 2024, up nearly $300 million from the same period last year. 

    In Florida, total losses in 2023 were over $293 million, the bureau said.

     Scammers may offer tech support but really want to steal phone or computer data; might promise a chance at romance; sell investments that are too good to be true or impersonate government officials or banks to access financial accounts.

--If approached, search online about the person or firm. Beware of fake websites, call the Better Business Bureau and look online for complaints.

--Resist pressure to act fast. 

--Be wary of unsolicited calls and mail and never share personal information or give money, checks, gift cards or wire information.

--If your device or account is accessed, immediately contact your financial institution to protect and monitor your accounts.

     Call the FBI at 1-800-CALL FBI and file a complaint at www.ic3.gov