SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – After the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2020 Elder Fraud Report that over 1,300 South Carolinians aged 60 or over fell victim to cyber scammers, officials are urging for the public’s help protecting seniors.
The report concluded these victims reported losses of nearly $10 million in 2020.
Officials say victims 60 and over across the country lost over $1 billion. The losses represented 28% of all losses reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. The average dollar loss nationwide was $9,175.
Acting United States Attorney M. Rhett DeHart says it is critical that all South Carolinians be vigilant of these internet crimes and family members should help protect their older relatives from becoming victims.
“Criminals often prey on those they believe are most susceptible to their schemes,” said DeHart. “Unfortunately, this means our elder neighbors are highly targeted by exploitative cybercriminals.”
According to the annual report from the FBI, the most common scams against seniors in 2020 were extortion, non-payment/non-delivery, tech support fraud, and identity theft. Some of these crimes stemmed from the new use of digital purchasing of goods during the pandemic.
The U.S. Attorney asks victims to immediately report cybercrimes to the FBI and the Department of Justice’s National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11.
Victims of cybercrimes can also contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.
Read the full 2020 Elder Fraud Report from the FBI below.