Financial Scams

Financial Fraud and Scams

Millions of older Americans become victims of financial fraud each year. Here are some important facts:

  • You are not alone
  • 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day
  • Over 13% of older Americans become victims of financial fraud every year
  • Of those who are subject to a fraud attempt, 25% will become a victim
  • Older adults lose more than $3 billion annually to financial scams


Examples of fraud and scams include:

  • Overcharging for products or services
  • Lottery and sweepstakes fraud
  • Pretend romantic attention toward an older adult
  • Scammers posing as government employees telling you to pay a fee
  • Someone posing to be from the information technology field offers to fix a non-existent problem with your computer

It's your right

Fraud victims have been approached:

  • While in the grocery store
  • By knocking at the door
  • Over the phone
  • Through the internet
  • Through the mail

If someone approaches you in any of these ways, you do not have to respond. It is okay to hang up the phone, not answer the door, not open an email or a piece of mail, or say "No, thank you" to someone approaching you in the parking lot.

Protect Yourself

  • Know that wiring money is like sending cash
  • After a disaster, give only to established charities
  • Don't send money to someone you don't know personally
  • Don't agree to deposit a check and wire money for anyone
  • Don't reply to messages asking for personal or financial information
  • Know that fraudsters will pose on the internet as interested romantic partners
  • Conduct background checks on a caregiver before hiring
  • Know that the federal government will never call you on the phone and ask for personal information
  • Have a plan in case a medical emergency arises

One of the best ways to protect yourself from financial fraud is to remain informed. Learn more about financial scams on the Federal Trade Commission's website by clicking here.