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Elder fraud resources are available from the FBI

FBI Philadelphia reminds the community of the elder fraud resources available, as well as the importance of reporting potential financial elder abuse.

The abuse of older people can come in various forms including physical, emotional, mental or financial exploitation.

According to the 2023 Crime Complaint Center Elder Fraud Report, the FBI received more than 100,000 complaints from those 60 and older, with total reported losses of approximately $3.4 billion.

Some of the most common fraud schemes the FBI investigates targeting older people include, tech support scams, investment fraud, romance scams and confidence fraud.

“Elder abuse, in any form, leaves a damaging impact on victims, families and our communities,” Wayne A. Jacobs, special agent in charge of FBI Philadelphia, said in a recent news release.

“We want to remind our older population to stay mindful of the many ways scammers are trying to take advantage of them and to be aware of ways to protect oneself from scams. We encourage anyone who thinks they or their older loved one is a victim of fraud or abuse to report it.”

FBI Philadelphia Community Outreach Specialists frequently speak with community groups and others to raise awareness to scams targeting older people.

Strategies for protecting oneself from scams targeting older people include:

•Recognize scam attempts and end all communication with the perpetrator. This includes hanging up the phone on scam callers.

•Search online for the contact information (name, email, phone number, addresses) and the proposed offer. Other people have likely posted information online about individuals and businesses trying to run scams.

•Resist the pressure to act quickly. Scammers create a sense of urgency to lure potential victims into immediate action. Call the police immediately if you feel there is a danger to yourself or to a loved one.

•Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, mailings and door-to-door services offers.

•Never give or send any personally identifiable information, money, jewelry, gift cards, checks or wire information to unverified people or businesses.

•Make sure all computer antivirus and security software and malware protections are up-to-date. Use reputable antivirus software and firewalls.

•Be careful what you download. Never open an email attachment from someone you do not know and be particularly cautious of email attachments forwarded to you.

FBI Philadelphia has specialists who work to ensure victims have the resources they need, as well as provide support in navigating the criminal justice process.

If you or someone you know may have been a victim of elder fraud, contact FBI Philadelphia at 215-418-4000 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

Complaints also may be filed with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.