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Top Ten Scams Targeting Our Nation's Seniors

Kathryn Van Eeuwen

February 13, 2020


It is estimated that older Americans lose a staggering $2.9 billion a year to an ever-growing array of financial exploitation schemes and scams. They are being targeted by criminals who want to rob them of their hard-earned retirement savings. They are being exploited by strangers over the telephone, through the mail, and online. Worse yet, far too many seniors may also be targeted by family members or by other people who they trust. 

The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging is committed to protecting older Americans against fraud and to bringing greater awareness of this pervasive problem. The Committee maintains a toll-free Fraud Hotline: 1-855-303-9470. By serving as a resource for seniors and others affected by scams, the Hotline has helped increase reporting and awareness of consumer fraud. Additionally, Committee staff and investigators who operate the Fraud Hotline can provide callers with important information to help reduce the likelihood that they will become a victim.

Some quick tips: 

  • Con artists force you to make decisions fast and may threaten you.
  • Con artists disguise their real numbers, using fake caller IDs.
  • Con artists sometimes pretend to be the government (e.g. IRS).
  • Con artists try to get you to provide them personal information like your Social Security number or account numbers.
  • Before giving out your credit card number or money, please ask a friend or family member about it.
  • Beware of offers of free travel!

If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and please call the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470. 

Learn more in the entire report.