As an elderly person navigating the worldwide web, it is all too easy to fall prey to senior scams. According to Customized Care, approximately 20% of Americans over the age of 65 have been exploited and taken advantage of financially. This leads to a yearly loss of about $3 billion every year, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel. The infographic defines this exploitation as, “…The improper use of an older person’s funds, property, or assets,” and defines the most vulnerable group to senior scams as being between the ages of 80-89 and living alone.
Since 2014, cyber-crimes have increased five-fold, costing over $650,000 in losses every year, which could total up to nearly $4,000,000 over the past six years. While some of these scams are familiar, some of them can be very nefarious, disguised through dating apps and social media profiles, which can be more difficult to spot in time. Just in 2018 alone, over 21,000 people were conned into sending money through online dating scams.
With over $143 million lost through social media romance scams in 2018, it’s no wonder that 32.9% of elder fraud cases are the result of credit card scams. With the wide-open internet at one’s disposal, it can truly be a frightening reality that social media can be a very unsafe place for elders, especially those living alone and unattended with no-one to assist them.