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1 in 5 Older Adults Knows a Scam Victim, Our Survey Shows

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Our survey found that 17 percent of American adults 50-plus know a family member or loved one who has lost money to a scam. Among the loved ones and family members who were scammed, 54 percent lost more than $1,000. About 1 in 6 scam victims — 16 percent — lost more than $5,000.

The report’s findings are the latest evidence that scammers are successfully targeting older adults. Phone scams are among the most effective, with more than 15,000 losses reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2020 among adults 60-plus. The median reported loss to those scams was $1,800.

In the new survey, commissioned in partnership with the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, 42 percent of respondents said they wished their loved one had been less gullible and more suspicious. The authors recommend only answering calls when you’re certain who's calling and talking through scam and fraud risks with loved ones.

Read more of the findings.

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