Elder fraud is a massive and growing problem according to U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
He says, “It’s despicable because the people involved are vulnerable and because of their stage in life they don’t have the opportunity to recover.”
Scams targeting seniors are so so wide spread that William Webster, a former FBI and CIA director, and his wife Lynda were targeted.
Scammers called the Websters claiming they’d won the lottery but needed to pay $50,000 in taxes first.
They wouldn’t take no for an answer.
Lynda Webster says, “When I got on the phone he basically said that he was going to kill me.”
William Webster says, “Older people are uncertain about taking these matters in their own hands, wish it were true that they were winning money.”
Tech support scams are the biggest problem.
According to the DOJ, scammers pretend to work for companies like Microsoft or Apple and convince seniors to spend large amounts of money to fix their computers.
Attorney General Barr held a round table with tech company executives about this problem. The DOJ says it’s working hard to stop these criminals announcing a crackdown.
A DOJ official says, “Against more than 260 defendants who allegedly defrauded more than two million Americans of more than three quarters of a billion dollars.”
Officials want younger people to keep an eye on seniors who may be victimized They say seniors should just hang up if they get unsolicited calls and everyone should report suspicious activity.