Fraud is at an all time high according to the Federal Trade Commissions latest report. And elderly adults are one of the most at risk groups to fall for scams.
1 in 18 senior citizens in the US will be scammed out of their money. It’s estimated that each year elderly Americans will lose more than $36 billion to fraud. And last year in North Dakota alone fraud victims lost more than $3.5 million.
Some of the most common scams that older people can fall for are FAKE IRS calls, Grandparent Family Emergency calls, and Sweepstakes and Lottery win calls.
AARP Fraud Watch Volunteer, Eunice Meidinger says, “The grandparent scam is probably the scam that most North Dakota people have been affected by. That their granddaughter or grandson and is jail some place and they need money.”
According to the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office don’t assume that elderly family members and friends know what to do when they get a scam call. They say to start a conversation with them and see if they have heard about these scams.
Meidinger says there are programs out there to help.
“People in North Dakota are so trustworthy. They have done business with a handshake for years. And they just cant believe somebody would do that to them and that’s why AARP set up this fraud program,” says Meidinger.
The AARP offers a Fraud Watch program that gives you information and advice on how to stay aware and away of possible scams.
Starion Banker, Shawn Dillon, offers also offers advice for not only elderly people but everyone.
“Always make sure you are checking your bank statements. A lot of people have online banking, mobile banking those are going to be the best ways to constantly watch your account and nothing comes out on those. Make sure you are always filling out a travel notice before your leaving the state or town so we can better protect your accounts,” says Dillon.
Meidinger says the program has been successful in helping older Americans be more careful when it comes to fraud