Adults aged 80 or more years reported fraud and losses of $72 million in 2019, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2019, released Thursday.

These older adults, with a total of 49,995 cases, accounted for 5% of all fraud and loss reports for which consumers included their ages, according to the 90-page report. The book shares information compiled via a secure online database available only to members of law enforcement.

Eleven percent of the cases reported by those 80 or more in 2019 involved a loss of money. The median amount lost was $1,600, two times the median among those aged 70 to 79, who had the next-highest median loss, $800.

Identity theft

Those aged 80 or more years also reported 5,687 cases of identity theft in 2019, according to the FTC. 

The most common type of identity fraud in this age group was credit card fraud, accounting for 1,991 cases. Bank fraud was the next most frequent type of specific fraud in this age group, with 1,107 cases, although “other identity theft” accounted for 1,160 cases.

There were 957 reported cases of identity theft involving government documents or benefits fraud, 567 reported cases of employment or tax-related fraud, 518 reported cases of phone or utilities fraud, and 272 reported cases of loan or lease fraud among those aged 80 or more years.

Suspected elder financial abuse may be reported to the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint or 877-FTC-HELP and to the Senate Special Committee on Aging at 855-303-9470 or www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline.