Eye4 Opening Senior Scam Statistics You Need to Be Aware of in 2023

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Senior scams have been constantly on the rise. According to the FBI, older adults lose up to $3 billion yearly to financial abuse. In 2022, more than 200,000 people between the ages of 60 and 69 reported fraud complaints to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Scammers often target vulnerable seniors with significant assets and abuse their trust, causing scams and fraud. According to the WHO, 1 in 6 adults aged 60 and above experience abuse in community settings.
In this article, discover the latest senior scam statistics to bring awareness and provide valuable insights to protect seniors from these deceitful schemes.

Editor’s Choice

  • In 2022, financial scams cost 80,000 seniors $3.1 billion.
  • There was an 84% increase in elder fraud cases when comparing reports from 2022 and 2021.
  • Cryptocurrency scams are rising in 2023, with a loss of nearly $1.1 billion.
  • Every year, more than 333,000 elderly scams and financial abuse cases are reported to authorities.
  • People over 60 reported investment scams, collectively costing almost $1 billion.
  • Among older adults, $120,000 is an average loss per incident.
  • A recent report by the FBI says that tech support scams among seniors collected over $587 million in losses.

2023 Elder Fraud Statistics

The high incidence of fraudulent activity targeting seniors in 2023 is a significant cause for concern. The FBI recently released its annual Elder Fraud Report for 2022 and issued warnings of fraud schemes targeting older adults. 

According to this report, over 88,000 people aged 60 and over lost $3.1 billion, with an average loss of $35,101 per victim.

The following sections will provide detailed statistics on the most common senior scams and identify the types used.

Most Common Elderly Scams Statistics in 2023

Many schemes to victimize older adults involve phone calls, emails, texts, and house visits. In a 2021 report from the FTC, phone calls cost the most out of all other contact methods, racking up to around $280 million.

It is recommended that you refrain from answering calls from unknown phone numbers. You can also use reverse phone lookup sites to see who owns that phone number.
Scammers aim to gain trust and deceive seniors into personal information or making fraudulent payments. Alternatively, if you want to identify a specific person as a scammer, you can use picture search engines, or people search sites.

This section highlights statistics on recent scams that are the most prevalent among older people.

1. Reports on investment scams collectively cost almost $1 billion.

(Internet Crime Complaint Center)

Seniors always seek to secure or increase their finances through investment plans, which makes them interested in any opportunity. Reports on these scams have significantly increased, growing from 2,104 to 4,661 in just a year. 

This case rise is also reflected in the average loss, as investment scams were almost $240 million in 2021, much less than the current number. 

2. Adults over 60 are less likely to report losing money to fraud than younger adults.

(Federal Trade Commission)

According to a 2022 analysis by research company Comparitech, their estimates show reported losses of  $11.64 billion. However, the majority of these cases are unreported. This number is only a fraction of older adults harmed by fraud. 

Many researchers agree that elderly fraud is widely underreported. A prevalence study in New York State shows that only 1 out of 44 cases of elder financial exploitation were reported.

3. Cryptocurrency scams rising in 2023, with a total loss of nearly $1.1 billion.

(Internet Crime Complaint Center)

As COVID-19 began to affect many lives, the importance of limited face-to-face interactions still stuck even after many restrictions were lifted, contributing to the wide use of cryptocurrency. 

This is a form of virtual currency where you can make quick payments digitally with fewer fees than traditional banks charge. In 2021 the virtual currency average loss was a mere $241 million when comparing it to the reports in 2022.

4. Among older adults, $120,000 is an average loss per incident. 


People 65 and older have the highest average net worth in America by age group, at $1.2 million. Studies also show that older adults make riskier and even worse decisions than younger people. 

The decrease in processing information quickly and problem-solving often impairs their ability to make the right decisions. These standard features of aging plus a large pot of cash are just what scammers are on the lookout for.

5. Every year, more than 333,000 elderly scams and financial abuse cases are reported to authorities.


Scammers have always seen seniors as easy targets. It is also known that they are often more isolated and less likely to have someone to talk to or report scams to. If all elder financial abuse were to be reported, it would overshadow the amounts recorded in these statistics. 

6. According to an AARP survey, 84% percent of people aged 50 and above did not report victimization.


This national study shows that 20 million Americans are unaware they’re victims of scams. In the survey, respondents aged 18-49 were 23% more likely to report fraud than those aged 50 and older. 

Reasons for this may vary from lack of awareness, embarrassment, or they may have forgotten that they were ever scammed. 

Most Common Types of Elderly Scams

Seniors often plan for retirement and are known to have accumulated wealth over the years. This makes them the most chosen targets of fraudsters looking to get a hold of those savings. Senior citizens are primarily victims of impostor scams, where fraudsters pose as government officials, financial advisors, or even family members.

No matter how damaging these scams are to you or your family, they must always be reported to law enforcement. However, you can track down a scammer without rest until the perpetrator is caught.

Learn more details on the most common types of scams targeting seniors.

7. 197% increase in Government Impersonation from 2021 to 2022.

(Internet Crime Complaint Center)

Fraudsters would impersonate officials from well-known government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (MDA), and the Social Security Administration (SSA), among many others. 

Most scammers also use techniques like phone number spoofing to make the call look more genuine; they also employ other methods such as:

  • Medicare sams
  • Covid scams
  • Social Security scams
  • IRS scams
  • Law Enforcement scams

8. 400 seniors are victims of Grandparent Scams with approximate losses of $3.8 million.

(Internet Crime Complaint Center)

Scams in this category showed a 49% decrease compared to reports from 2021, with a total loss of $6.5 million. Fraudsters in this scheme would pose as grandchildren or family members. They also collect enough information about a target’s family through social media. They will even pose as law enforcers or doctors, telling you your grandchild needs financial help. 

This tactic takes advantage of your fear when knowing that a loved one is ill or in trouble and needs money immediately. 

9. Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams 3rd the most costly senior scams.

(Federal Bureau of Investigation)

Online security is crucial for businesses, especially in this age of technology; internet users must always be wary of hackers. BEC is considered one of the fastest-growing internet crimes that cost Americans $2.4 billion in 2021. A report by the FTC says it cost businesses by those over 60 over $477 million in the past year.

10. Seniors are reported to have the lowest susceptibility to online shopping scams, with 62.1% of victims losing money.


Although seniors seem the least likely to shop online among different age groups, you’d be surprised that many gave it a go. More have fallen victim to fake, low-quality, or non-existent product ads in the past year, with almost 8,000 elderly victims. They reportedly lost more than $51 million from online shopping scams.

11. Older adults are 126% more likely to report Sweepstakes and Lottery scams.

(Federal Trade Commission)

Older adults are often contacted and told that they have won prizes. Scammers would then instruct the victims to pay a processing fee before they can claim the prize. These scams may be the oldest trick in the book, but many seniors still fall for them. It has even gained more during the past year, from $53 million in 2021 to almost $70 million in 2022.

Statistics on Romance and Tech Scams to the Elderly

Older people are more susceptible to romance and technology frauds. According to FTC’s Protecting Older Consumers Report for 2020-2021, around $139 million was lost to romance scams. Alternatively, 58% of the elderly are victims of tech fraud.

Get to know more statistics on these two most common elderly scams below.

12. A recent report by the FBI says tech support scams among seniors collected over $587 million in losses.

(Internet Crime Complaint Center)

This scam ranks 2nd highest overall victim loss among all other types of crime targeting the elderly. Tech Support scams have the highest number of reported cases in 2022, with 17,810 victims over 60. 

According to the FTC, older people are nearly five times more likely than younger generations to report a tech support scam.

13. Romance Scams cost 7,166 American elderly more than $419 million.

(Internet Crime Complaint Center)

The average loss to romance scams for older adults increased from $213 million in 2021 to $419 million in 2022. According to the FTC, more than a third of victims of a romance scam in 2021 reported that it started on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. 


Senior scams have become an alarming issue that demands immediate attention. The statistics paint a picture of the challenges faced by our elderly population.
Seniors, families, and communities must proactively understand these scams and take preventative measures. This can be done by raising awareness through educational campaigns, outreach programs, and government and community collaborations.

Being equipped with this knowledge can create a safer environment and ensure the safety and well-being of our seniors.


What age group gets scammed the most?

In 2022, people aged 30-39 are the most targeted group. However, those aged 60-69 are the 2nd most targeted group.

How do I report an elderly scammer?

You can call Eldercare Locator, contact Adult Protective Services, or make a report to the Federal Trade Commission. Remember to collect all the necessary information when filing a report.

How to avoid elderly scams?

The most important way to avoid scams is not to make rash financial decisions and constantly research the company or individual. Never be too trusting of a stranger, and never hesitate to ask for help from those you trust more or from legitimate financial advisors.


Who investigates elder abuse?

Numerous state or local Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies investigate types of elder abuse, such as the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), the National Center on Elder Abuse, and even the U.S. Department of Justice.

Why are seniors easily scammed?

Many seniors are mostly isolated or lonely and are not as closely monitored by relatives. Some seniors may experience cognitive impairment as they age or suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s. This makes them very vulnerable to scams.

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