FBI to co-host programs on elder fraud with tips to avoid scams throughout San Diego County
The week-long series of programs will give share information to help older adults stay safe
The FBI San Diego Citizens Academy Alumni Association and the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation are hosting a series of educational events in San Diego County next week to alert older adults and their family caregivers of the dangers associated with elder fraud and scams.
During sessions throughout the county, a speaker from FBI San Diego Elder Justice Task Force will discuss common elder-fraud schemes and what signs to look for.
The free event series will kick off on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 10 a.m. with a session at the Grossmont Healthcare District Conference Center, 9001 Wakarusa Street in La Mesa.
The series will continue on Wednesday with a 1 p.m. session at the Taiwanese American Community Center in San Diego and a 4:30 p.m. session at the Gloria McClellan Senior Center in Vista. On Thursday, sessions will be held at 10 a.m. at San Diego Oasis Rancho Bernardo and 1 p.m. in the Mickey Cafagna Community Center in Poway. The final session will be in Coronado Friday at 11:30 a.m. at the John D. Spreckels Center.
Elder fraud refers to crimes targeting vulnerable seniors. Deceitful schemes can exploit their finances through scams or financial manipulation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations reports that in 2022, there were 88,262 victims of fraud age 60 and older, and older adults suffered $3.1 billion in losses. Those losses were an 84 percent increase from losses suffered in 2021, with each victim losing an average of $35,101.
As the state with the largest total population, California had the highest number of elder-fraud cases of any state, with 11,517 victims and nearly $625 million in total losses. It was followed by Florida, Texas, New York and Arizona.
Nationally, the majority of fraud crimes were related to tech-support scams, where someone poses as technical or customer support service staff. The second highest number of elder-fraud complaints are related to non-payment/non-delivery, where the victim orders an item online and either does not receive it or receives something dissimilar from the advertised item.
The Office for Victims of Crime reports that elder abuse and financial exploitation can have negative physical and mental health impacts on older adults.
“It’s really significant — people that have been the victims of financial abuse in particular do experience significantly lower health outcomes,” said Amy Abrams, Grossmont Healthcare District chief community health officer.
“It causes depression, it causes anxiety, that leads people to become more socially isolated. All three of those things increase your risk of experiencing lots of other negative health conditions.”
To register to attend the one of the elder fraud prevention events or learn more, visit fbisdcaaa.org/elderfraud.
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