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The ‘Scamdemic’ Is Another Consequence Of Covid

Credit Card Scams

The ‘Scamdemic’ Is Another Consequence Of Covid


By Ellen Marks, Next Avenue

It might come as an email, disguised as a message from a friend who needs help buying a gift card.

It might be a phone call, threatening jail time if you don’t immediately pay a fine for missing jury duty.

Or it might be a budding online relationship with someone who promises to be the love of your life.

These schemes, and a multitude of others like them, are completely bogus, but they pose a very real threat to those who receive them. And while such scams and fraud are ubiquitous to everyone, they pose specific threats to those who are older.

Last year, more than 92,000 victims over the age of 60 reported losses of $1.7 billion to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. That was a 74% increase in losses over the year before.

“The number of elderly victims has risen at an alarming rate, while the loss amounts are even more staggering,” according to the center’s 2021 Elder Fraud Report.

Older people are often targets because they tend to have saved money over a lifetime with healthy nest eggs at their disposal, says Eva Velas

quez, president and CEO of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center.

“A lot of retirees have spent their whole lives saving, and the scammers know that,” she says.

The Arrival of the ‘Scamdemic’

The Covid-19 pandemic brought a rise in scams for everyone — Velasquez calls it a “scamdemic” — but for older adults it emphasized another reason why they are vulnerable to…

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