Scammers perpetrate elder financial abuse in California because seniors are vulnerable and typically have a sizable reserve of money in the bank. As we continue into the second half of 2023, it is important to remember that future security requires assessing past threats. Learn the top elder abuse scams per elder abuse statistics from 2022 in our blog:
Elder Abuse Statistics 2022: The Year’s Top Scams
Government Impersonation Scams
Government impersonation scams are common forms of elder financial abuse in California that occur when scammers call unsuspecting seniors pretending to work for government agencies to intimidate them.
Sometimes, they contact the victim saying they have unpaid taxes and threaten arrest or deportation if they don’t pay immediately. In other instances, they say they will terminate government benefits if they don’t provide information.
These malicious actors commit financial abuse or identity theft and often use technology to fabricate a caller ID or phone number to display a government agency or specific zip code.
Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams
Sweepstakes and lottery scams are the most widely known types of elder financial abuse in California, though it has fluctuated considerably in recent years.
Scammers contact seniors and tell them they won a prize, but to claim their prize, they must send money, sometimes totaling thousands of dollars, to cover taxes and other fees. These scammers even impersonate well-known sweepstakes organizations.
Ultimately, they use the prestige of these organizations to build trust. Seniors never receive the promised prize, and fraudsters sometimes convince them to send more money to receive it. Per elder abuse statistics in 2022:
- The average loss is $20,544
- Losses grew approximately 50%
- The victim count decreased by approximately 6%
Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams are a type of elder financial abuse in California that prey on most seniors’ lack of computer savvy.
These scams start with a pop-up message that tells the elderly individual that their device is damaged and requires repairs. When the senior contacts them for assistance, scammers often request remote access to their device.
In other scenarios, scammers request that the senior sends them money. These malicious actors sometimes impersonate customer support representatives from well-known companies. Per elder abuse statistics in 2022:
- Seniors account for 58% of these fraud reports
- Seniors account for 68% of total losses
- The average loss is $17,117
- Losses increased by nearly 520% and continue to rise
- Victims grew by 105% and continue to rise
- Seniors are 474% more likely to fall victim
Confidence Fraud and Romance Scams
As people of all ages turn to online dating, opportunistic scammers realized this was a chance to siphon money out of heart-sick seniors.
This sinister type of elder financial abuse in California preys on the big hearts of seniors. Scammers create elaborate, fake profiles, often on social media, and exploit the isolation many people experience in their later years.
Sometimes, scammers are overseas or pretend to be overseas and request money to finance visas, emergency medical expenses, or travel costs to visit the senior. With these scams, fraudsters drain substantial funds over a long period.
In other situations, the criminal may call the elderly individual and ask them for money, impersonating a younger relative. Per elder abuse statistics in 2022:
- The average loss is $56,422
- Losses increased by nearly 85% over two years
- The victim count increased by approximately 30% over two years
Contact a Premier Elder Abuse Lawyer for Representation
Reviewing elder abuse statistics in 2022, it is clear seniors are vulnerable to scammers for myriad reasons. These fraudsters exploit deteriorating health, a lack of technological savvy, and loneliness to purloin unfathomable sums of money. Many seniors lose the savings they worked their whole lives to accumulate, which eliminates financial security and alters their future. If you or a loved one already fell victim to a scam, contacting an expert elder abuse attorney is essential to recovering losses and receiving justice.
At Gokal Law Group, we possess unequaled expertise in representing the vulnerable. Call us at (949) 753-9100, or contact us for a consultation. When we are in your corner, seniors are never just another statistic.