FBI Philadelphia
Public Affairs Specialist Sofia Kettler
June 13, 2024

FBI Philadelphia Reminds Community of Elder Fraud Resources

FBI Philadelphia wants to remind the community of the elder fraud resources we provide, as well as the importance of reporting potential financial elder abuse.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is recognized each year on June 15. This is an opportunity to continue the dialogue on the issue of elder fraud and abuse. The abuse of older Americans can come in various forms, to include physical, emotional, mental, or financial exploitation.

According to the 2023 Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) Elder Fraud Report, the FBI received over 100,000 complaints from victims over the age of 60, with total reported losses of approximately $3.4 billion.

Some of the most common fraud schemes the FBI investigates targeting older Americans include:

  • Tech Support Scams
  • Investment Fraud
  • Romance Scams and Confidence Fraud

“Elder abuse, in any form, leaves a damaging impact on victims, families, and our communities,” said Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Philadelphia. “We want to remind our older population to stay mindful of the many ways scammers are trying to take advantage of them, and to be aware of ways to protect oneself from scams. We encourage anyone who thinks they or their older loved one is a victim of fraud or abuse to report it.”

Education and outreach are vital in bringing awareness to these crimes, protecting victimization, and reinforcing the importance of reporting. FBI Philadelphia Community Outreach Specialists frequently engage with community groups and partners to bring awareness to the scams impacting our community and help prevent victimization.

Ways to protect yourself include:

  • Recognize scam attempts and end all communication with the perpetrator. This includes the very simple step to hang up the phone!
  • Search online for the contact information (name, email, phone number, addresses) and the proposed offer. Other people have likely posted information online about individuals and businesses trying to run scams.
  • Resist the pressure to act quickly. Scammers create a sense of urgency to produce fear and lure victims into immediate action. Call the police immediately if you feel there is a danger to yourself or a loved one.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, mailings, and door-to-door services offers.
  • Never give or send any personally identifiable information, money, jewelry, gift cards, checks, or wire information to unverified people or businesses.
  • Make sure all computer anti-virus and security software and malware protections are up to date. Use reputable anti-virus software and firewalls.
  • Be careful what you download. Never open an email attachment from someone you don't know, and be wary of email attachments forwarded to you.

FBI Philadelphia has Victim Specialists who work to ensure victims have the resources they need, as well as support in navigating the criminal justice process.

In 2017, the Department of Justice and FBI created the Elder Justice Initiative to combat the increasing prevalence of fraud against older Americans. The FBI will continue to work alongside our local, state and federal partners to address elder fraud impacting our communities.

If you or someone you know may have been a victim of elder fraud, contact FBI Philadelphia at (215) 418-4000 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. You can also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.