The Senior Scam Statistics You Must Know in 2023

The Senior Scam Statistics You Must Know in 2023

Scams on people at the age of 40 and above are on the increase. This age grade falls victim to scams for many reasons, and these scammers have outrightly made them their target. In some cases, younger people get scammed, but not as often as these older adults. Also, young people that get scammed mostly recognize the gameplay before it gets too far.

It could be said that senior citizens are more gullible, and this makes them easy targets. Also, these scammers are relentless, and they take adaptation as their priority. These statistics can help you understand this even better. This article features the senior scam statistics you must know today. Keep reading to discover.

senior scam statistics

Senior Scam Statistics

1. From 2020, Seniors Lost Over $3 Billion to Scammers.

In an FBI report in 2020, the estimated amount of senior citizens lost to financial scams was about $3 billion. This vast loss didn’t just stop in 2020; it continued in the next year and until recently. In the report, they have been questionable growth in the amount these citizens lose to scammers every other year since 2020. 

These scams include romance scams, cryptocurrency scams, lottery scams, investment scams, and many others. Aside from the FBI report, a CSN Data Book discusses the $3.3 billion fraud in 2020. It was about $1.5 billion in 2019, proving the growth in senior citizens’ scam rate is enormous. The estimated average loss for every reported scam incident is about $120,000. The incidents repeat itself more than 2000 times in one year.

2. Identity Theft and Fraud are the Most Reported Types of Scams.

Fraud has risen to be one of the most reported types of scams, followed by identity theft, and the FTC has received. Identity theft is a crime with a potentially devastating aftermath. The record shows that fraud is at a 46.3% rate and identity theft is at 29.4%, leaving other types of scams behind. There have been over 500,000 reports of imposter scams over the years.

These reports show the relentless increase in these scam rates and the yearly total loss of about %1.2 billion. There are many types of identity theft, but the highest is government benefit or document fraud. There are over 400,000 reported cases of this type of scam. Fake emails, Medicare card verification, fake online shopping sites, and tech support scams are some types of identity theft. Also, there are child identity fraud, home title theft, gift card gifts, and a few others. 

3. Fraud and Identity Theft Reports Increased by 47% From 2019 to 2020.

The reports of fraud and identity theft kind of scam has always been on a low increase rate since 2001. From 2015 to 2017, it reduced slightly and started increasing again in 2018. But, between 2019 and 2020, the increment rate beat every other one, and the problem reached its all-time high. 

There were only about 325,000 reports of this crime in 2001, which increased in 2002 to over 500,000 words. It was over 700,000 in 2003, 860,000 in 2004, 910,000 in 2005 and 2006, 1,070,000 in 2007, and 1,260,000 in 2008. This slowed growth until it reached 3,120,000 in 2019 and hiked to 4,720,000 in 2020. Records show that the increment report rate between 2019 and 2020 is the highest until recently. 

4. In 2021, They Were About 92,371 Victims of Senior Scams.

In 2021, out of the over 100,000 people who got scammed, 92,371 were older adults over 60. According to the FBI, the 92,371 people scammed in 2021 lost over $1.7 billion. The report also states that between 2020 and 2021, the rate of scams on senior citizens increased to 74%.

5. The People That are Less Likely to Report When They Lose Money to Scammers are Senior Citizens.

For some reason, even if senior citizens lose to fraud more, they hardly report it to cybersecurity agents. This is mostly likely the reason they fall prey to these fraudsters more. So, calculating based on reported cases will show that young citizens lose money more because they say the slightest loss. But, in reality, more citizens over 60 lose more money to scammers.

In an FTC report, 44% of young people who got scammed reported the case, and only 20% of seniors reported theirs. This might be due to fear, ignorance, or shame in the senior people. Some don’t know how the reporting process works, so they would rather keep it to themselves than stress over it

6. The Most Common Type of Identity Theft for People 60 and Above is Government Documents or Benefit Fraud.

Government documents or benefits fraud is taking the lead among the many types of identity theft carried out on people of over 60 years. This identity theft hardly works on young people as much as it does on seniors. The rate has rapidly increased to about 46% for people of age 60 to 69 in recent timesFor people in the 70 to 79 age group, this type of identity theft was about 38%. Then, it is 25% for people in the 80 years and above age group, beating the rate of every other type of identity theft. 

Among all the types of identity theft, there were about 406,375 reports of government documents or benefits fraud. Following it was Credit card fraud, with about 393,207 words, and other identity theft, with 353,152 reports. Also, 204,967 people reported loan or lease fraud, 113,529 reported employment or tax-related fraud, and 99,539 reported phone or utility fraud.

Alarming Reality of Senior Scam Statistics

Alarming Reality of Senior Scam Statistics

7. For Tech Support Scams, Older Adults are 6 Times More Likely to Report When They Lose Money. 

Although older adults generally don’t like reporting scams, they say more regarding tech support scams. Young adults usually don’t send most of their reports to the proper authorities. They primarily discuss it among friends and count their losses.

The FTC’s Protecting Older Consumer data shows that people who are 60 years and above will most likely report some type of fraud. This report was released between 2019 and 2020. With a rate of 474%, older adults will report tech support scams over 6 times more than young adults. They will also report lottery scams, losses on prizes, and sweepstakes, or 3 times more than the younger citizens will. 

8. For the Age of 70 and Above, the Median Loss is More.

The median losses rapidly increase for older people, even if the fraud reporting rate is meager. More senior citizens have had nearly double the average median loss than younger citizens. People between the age of 20 to 29 had a loss of $324 in 2020, and people between 60 and 69 had a loss of $426. The number increased for people between the age of 70 to 79 as they had a loss of $635. The age grade that got affected even more was 80 and above. They had an average median loss of $1,300, over double what the people in the previous age grade lost.

9. Reported Investment Scams have Cost Over $1 Billion.

Investment scams are another rapidly growing type of scam involving older adults. The FBI has reported that this scam has cost senior citizens over $1 billion. This loss is set to increase within the next few years. The reports of this scam grew from 2,104 to 4,661 in one year. In 2021, the FBI recorded an average loss of $240 million to this scam, but it is currently over 4 times this amount.

10. People Over 60 Suffered the Highest Losses From Romance Scams.

Scammers have discovered that the recent marriage failure and divorce rate is high. So, people who are over 60 years old with such problems believe they don’t have a good chance of finding love because of their age. With this, these scammers target this age group and pretend to love them with deceitful words. They get them to share in a romantic fantasy and lure them to steal their money. 

Young people don’t share the same romantic desperation as older adults, so this scam hardly works for them. Out of all the fraud they have used to scam older adults, the romance scam has gotten them the most, with an $84 million loss. Following this is the imposter government scam, with a $61 million loss in 2019.

11. Online Shopping Fraud is The Most Common Way Older Adults Lose Money.

Although older adults have lost more money to romance scams, online shopping fraud remains the most popular way they lose money. This most common method doesn’t have a higher amount of loss recorded because older adults spend less when they are shopping online. They spend more on the people who pretend to love them. 

Online shopping fraud has become the most common way they lose money because they prefer shopping online to leaving their houses for the store. Also, they like cheaper products, and these scammers make the prices of the products on their fake sites look cheap. Online shopping fraud has become the most common way they lose money since the pandemic in 2020, and it has stayed that way until now.

12. The Online Contact Fraud Method is Increasing.

Even if it is not the fraud with the highest losses or the most common, online contact fraud is rising. The rising speed is already too much of a problem. It is currently higher than phone contact fraud, which was previously higher. Email contact fraud remains as low as it has always been.

The rise started during the pandemic between 2019 and 2020. More people use online services than offline services. Then, the problem started, and it has remained to this day. The number of loss reports due to online fraud increased from 289 to 967 in 12 months.

Effects of Senior Scam Statistics

Effects of Senior Scam Statistics

13. Senior Citizen Fraud Losses Increased by 391.9% From 2017 to 2021.

From 2017 to 2021, elderly fraud losses increased by 391.9%. The primary growth went high between 2019 and 2020 during the pandemic. In 4 years, older citizens lost over $343 million to $1.685 billion to fraudsters. All the money they could not recover.

14. Older Adults Have Reported Their Phones Are a Means Through Which Scammers Contact Them.

According to senior scam statistics, about 16,000 older adults committed fraud through their phones. Scammers used to meet their victims in person, disguised as what they wanted them to believe they were. Now, they have discovered that the method is riskier. They contact their victims through their phones. Following the phone record is the fraud done through online means. There were about 10,000 reports for this method in 2018. However, this record changed between 2019 and 2020, and online fraud took the lead. 

15. One of the Payment Methods Scammers Use is Gift Cards.

28.4% of older adults who got scammed in early 2017 reported paying the scammers with gift cards. From 2018 on, this rate increased. Some scammers know authorities can track them through bank transactions, so they use gift cards to cover their tracks. However, wire transfer remains the leading way scammers receive money from older adults. $142 million was paid to scammers by wire transfer, making it the highest scammer-paying means. 

16. Cryptocurrency Scams are Rising, With a $1.1 Billion Total Loss in 2023.

The 2023 year is over, but the cryptocurrency scam has risen to an all-time high. Many people have lost about $1.1 billion to scammers in this industry, and seniors are among them. The average loss caused by cryptocurrency scams in 2021 was $241 million and rose by only a few million dollars in 2022. 

17. The Most Scam-affected State was California, as it had Over 12,000 Victims Who Were Over 60 Years Old.

The FBI’s Elder Fraud Data report states that Californians aged 60 and above were more victims of scams than in other states. The information had about 12,534 scam complaints from older adults, far above what other states recorded. Also, they lost over $150 million. Florida had 9,252 complaints, the second most fraudulent state for people over 60. The third was Texas, with 6,342 complaints.  

18. People Over 60 are More Likely to File Scam Reports and Not Return the Money They Lost.

Older adults usually don’t file complaints of scams, but when they do, they leave the amount they lose out of the report. About 64% of them partake in this act. It might be out of fear of showing their financial weakness or shame of exposing gullibility

19. Over 333,000 Elderly Scams Get Reported Yearly.

Scammers make defrauding elderly citizens a priority, and the high rate of reported cases shows that. There has been no year with a senior scam said case less than 333,000.


Over the years, records show that older adults (60 and older) get scammed the most. However, they are the least likely people to report to the authorities. Of the few that say the scam experience, only about 36% include the monetary loss. The other 64% omit it. It could be because of fear or other reasons best known to them. These senior scam statistics provide information and insights into the most essential reality.


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