Imposter Scams Now America’s #1 Fraud
Imposter Fraud Targets Elderly
Imposter scams have become the leading fraud in America. The Federal Trade Commission tallies up the number and type of consumer fraud complaints and reported more than 3 million claims of imposter schemes in 2016 alone! And the financial toll is huge: although not all consumers report their losses, those that did got taken for $744.5 million in total. The primary target for imposter scams is the elderly.
In fact, persons over the age of 60 officially account for 37% of total victims although they make up only 13% of the population. We suspect that the real percentage of seniors who are imposter fraud victims is probably much higher when unreported cases are considered. Most of the imposter scams initiate over the phone or internet where anonymity and disguise are easy to swing. Since seniors are often isolated, the one way intro to an imposter scam gets the undivided attention of the target victim. Where the senior suffers from cognitive impairment, the con artist has found easy prey.
The most prevalent imposter scam involves phony IRS agents. They contact by phone, email or text message claiming you owe money. This is a relatively easy scam to avoid: the real IRS will always contact you first by regular mail, never phone or email. Keep that in mind. Another popular scam is tech support phonies offering to “fix” your computer online. Ignore them; their goal is to hack into your computer and steal your identity. Last but not least phony grandkids are another frequent scam; they email their “grandparents” (whose contact info they’ve hacked) asking for money. Don’t ever wire money unless you know and can confirm exactly who it’s going to – and you are certain you want them to receive it.
If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of fraud or financial elder abuse and are looking for help in San Francisco County or in any California county, contact the Evans Law Firm elder attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with fraud and financial elder abuse cases and complex qui tam or whistleblower cases, complex financial contract cases and cases against large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.