You have probably heard that scams mostly affect older adults, but reports to the Federal Trade Commission tell a different story. Last year, adults under 60 — our Gen X, Millennial, and Gen Z neighbors — were more likely to report losing money to fraud than people 60 and over. And what did they report the most? Losing money to online shopping fraud, often when things pitched to them on social media never arrived.  That’s why we caution you to not buy products from companies that advertise on Facebook and other social media.  These companies are usually overseas and will just take your money and deliver nothing.

Compared to older adults, those under 60 were more than four times as likely to report losing money on an investment scam, often a fake cryptocurrency investment opportunity, and more than five times as likely to report losing money to a job scam. Many college students reported losing money to phony job offers sent to their school email addresses. Overall, adults under 60 most often reported losing money to scams that started on social media, a website, or an app, and their median reported fraud loss was $500.

According to the FTC, people over 60 were less likely to report losing money to fraud, but their reported losses were higher. The median reported loss was $800 among people in their 70s and jumped to $1,500 for people over 80. Older adults were more likely to report losing money to tech support scammers — cons who urge people to pay for unneeded computer repairs — and prize, sweepstakes, and lottery scams that demand payment but never give a prize. About one in four of the older adults’ loss reports said the scam started with a phone call.

Rule #1 – If you don’t know who the caller is, DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE! Let the answering machine deal with the caller.

Rule #2 – Never give out personal or financial information to anyone on an unsolicited call.

Rule #3 –   NOBODY, repeat, NOBODY can monitor the speed of your computer from a remote location.  Not Microsoft, not the NSA, NOBODY!  If someone calls and says they are from Microsoft, HANG UP.

Rule # 4 –  The US Marshals, the FBI, the IRS, the local Sheriff’s office WILL NOT call you and threaten legal action – NEVER!

Rule #5 –  If the first four rules don’t cover everything that can happen when you answer the phone, go back and look at Rule #1.

Need assistance?  Seniors vs. Crime is here to help you.

Sumter Office – Open Mon-Thurs.; 10am-2pm @ 352-689-4600 X 4606

Wildwood Office – Open Tue – Thur.; 10am – 1pm @ 352-753-0727

Marion Office – Open Tuesday; 10am-2pm @ 352-753-7775

Fruitland Park Office – Open Wednesday; 10am-2pm @ 352-674-1882

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