Newly released FBI data looking into scams against our seniors shows both the number of those over the age of 60 who are victimized and the amount they're losing are going up.
"The scammers are getting smarter. They're using new technologies to access the seniors."
Marvin Badler is a Palm Beach County project manager with Seniors vs. Crime, a special project of the Florida Attorney General's Office.
He says the thieves have at their fingertips databases that easily lead them to wealthy seniors.
The FBI report shows elderly Floridians were scammed out of just under $350 million last year. Nationwide, that number totals $3.1 billion, which was up 85 percent from the previous year. And Florida had the second most victims in 2022.
While tech and customer support scams lead the way, there are other ways that local elderly residents are getting swindled.
"We had one recently to have a house renovated and the price was over $30,000 and they convinced the consumer to put down $17,000 cash and they never came back."
Badler says that kind of thing is a red flag.
So, why are these crooks so good at victimizing the elderly?
"They're not as sharp. And they are more trusting. Years ago a hand shake was okay."
The average victim is losing over $35,000 to scammers.
And as mentioned, in many cases the number of victims has been climbing. For example, tech support scams have nearly doubled nationwide in the past three years.
Next Friday, we'll hear from Marvin on ways that you can help protect your elderly loved ones. You can also hear that information in the audio player above.