TUCSON – Arizona residents over the age of 60 have lost more than $12 million in scams in the last year.
“Ten thousand Americans turn 65 every day so it’s creating a very large pool of potential victims for these fraudsters who carry out these elder frauds,” said FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jeremy Capello.
News Four Tucson Investigators combed through the most recent FBI crime statistics.
In all, Arizona residents over the age of 60 lost $12.5 million dollars in 1,700 scams.
The top 5 most frequent types of scams were:
- Extortion 302 cases
2) Data Breach 254 cases
3) Non-payment 251 cases
4) Tech support 221 cases
5) Virtual Currency 220 cases
“Most of these scams happen over the phone. That’s why we tell people to just hang up. If you eliminate the ability for them (scammers) to reach you over the phone you are pretty safe,” said Capello.
However, the most popular scams aren’t where Arizonans lost the most amount of money.
The top 5 most costly scams were:
- Romance $3,210,738.42
2) Real Estate $1,732,043.67
3) Business Email Compromise $1,732,043.67
4) Advance Fees $1,621,343.07
5) Social Media $1,525,207.25
FBI officials say that because many scams go unreported, the actual dollar amount is really far higher.
“Don’t feel embarrassed, the CEO’s of companies have fallen for these scams. We just want to let the public know as soon as you become a victim you should report it,” said Capello.