The Rising Threat of Elder Fraud: Insights from IC3’s 2023 Report

Elder fraud reports to FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center rose by 14% in 2023 

“Elder Fraud, in Focus.” FBI, 30 Apr. 2024,

In today’s digital age, where connectivity knows no bounds, our elderly population finds itself increasingly vulnerable to a growing threat: elder fraud. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recently released its 2023 Elder Fraud Report, shedding light on the alarming rise in these deceptive practices targeting older Americans.

According to the report, elder fraud complaints to IC3 surged 14% in 2023, with an 11% increase in associated losses. While these figures paint a concerning picture, they likely only scratch the surface of the problem, with many cases going unreported. Shockingly, only about half of fraud scam complaints submitted to IC3 included victims’ ages, indicating a potentially more pervasive issue than statistics reveal.

Here are five key takeaways from IC3’s 2023 Elder Fraud Report:

1. Costly Consequences

Elder fraud wreaked financial havoc in 2023, causing over $3.4 billion in losses—an average of $33,915 per victim. This represents a substantial 11% increase from the previous year, underscoring the financial devastation inflicted by these scams.

2. Disproportionate Impact

Older Americans bore the brunt of these fraudulent schemes, with over 101,000 victims aged 60 and above reporting incidents to IC3. In contrast, individuals under 20 were the least affected demographic, with approximately 18,000 victims reporting suspected scams.

3. Common Tactics

Tech support scams emerged as the most prevalent form of elder fraud in 2023, with nearly 18,000 victims aged 60 and over falling prey to these deceptive ploys. Other common schemes included personal data breaches, confidence and romance scams, non-payment or non-delivery scams, and investment scams.

4. Costliest Frauds

Investment scams proved to be the most financially devastating, accounting for losses exceeding $1.2 billion in 2023. Tech support scams, business email compromise scams, confidence and romance scams, government impersonation scams, and personal data breaches also inflicted substantial financial losses on victims.

5. Cryptocurrency as a Tool

The allure of cryptocurrency has not escaped the attention of fraudsters, with over 12,000 elderly victims reporting its involvement in facilitating scams. This highlights the evolving tactics used by criminals to exploit vulnerable individuals.

IC3’s comprehensive report is an important reminder of the pressing need to address elder fraud. As FBI Assistant Director Michael D. Nordwall emphasizes, combatting the financial exploitation of older adults remains a top priority for law enforcement agencies.

Heightened awareness and proactive measures are essential to combat elder fraud and protect seniors. Live worry-free with identity theft protection for your entire family, including $1M ID theft insurance & stolen funds reimbursement.

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