The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2020 received 105,301 complaints from victims aged 60 or more years, with total losses exceeding $966 million.
That statistic was part of recently released 2020 Internet Crime Report by the IC3, which indicated that, overall, the agency received a record number of complaints last year. The IC3 reported receiving a total of 791,790 complaints in 2020 — a 69% increase from 2019 — for a reported loss of $4.2 billion.
As a result of the significant increases and the effect of scams targeting the elderly, the IC3 is planning to release its first annual report focusing entirely on elder fraud later this year.
Among the more prevalent scams against older adults are advance fee schemes, investment fraud schemes, romance scams, tech support scams, grandparent scams, government impersonation scams, sweepstakes / charity / lottery scams, home repair scams, TV / radio scams and family / caregiver scams.
Older adults who are victimized often continue to be victimized, according to the center. In response to the increasing prevalence of fraud against the elderly, the Department of Justice and the FBI partnered to create the Elder Justice Initiative.
A total of 5.7 million complaints have been reported to IC3 since its inception in 2000. Over the past five years, the IC3 has received an average of 440,000 complaints annually.