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Scams Against Older Adults Advisory Meeting

Keeping older adults safe from fraud and scams is a top priority for the FTC. That commitment is reflected in the agency’s long history of law enforcement actions against scammers and our robust outreach and education programs. Now, as part of the Stop Senior Scams Act, the FTC is bringing together an Advisory Group of federal agency partners, consumer advocates, and industry representatives to focus on ways we can better identify and stop scams that affect older adults.

The FTC’s most recent report on protecting older consumers tells us that adults aged 60 and over are substantially less likely to report losing money to fraud than younger people. But when they do report losing money to frauds — like online shopping scams, tech support scams, or romance scams — they are losing thousands of dollars. (For more on this data, visit ftc.gov/exploredata.)

That’s why the work of the Advisory Group is so important. Through the formation of smaller committees, the Advisory Group will focus on four main areas: 1) expanding consumer education efforts; 2) improving industry training on scam prevention; 3) identifying innovative or high-tech methods to detect and stop scams; and 4) developing research on consumer or employee engagement to reduce fraud. Together, members of the Advisory Group will identify gaps and highlight best practices for fighting frauds and scams affecting older adults. And, they’ll seek out key stakeholders to contribute to the work of each committee.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Advisory Group’s work, mark your calendar for September 29th at 2:30 pm ET. The first meeting will be livestreamed from ftc.gov

40 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Huynh Vien An
September 12, 2022

How do I plan?and can I be in another country?

Randall Dillon
September 13, 2022

Yea my name is Randall James Dillon, and I would be honored to attend this meeting in hopes of learning more on ways too bust these people and there theft.

Wayne Jenkins
September 13, 2022

Thanks so much, FROM:, potential senor scam victim

Deborah Ann Rogers
September 16, 2022

What do we do when we've already been scammed and need our money back!!?? I'm having to hire those that say they'll get our money back but we have to pay them to do it! So, if you're REALLY interested in scams and how they work, ask us!!

Lisa Dykes
September 13, 2022

Thank you for helping senior citizens against scams

Susan Bishop
September 13, 2022

Thank you so much!

My husband’s deceased parents got a call that their grandson was in jail and needed a lot of money to be sent to get him out of jail. Their young adult grandson was a photographer and he would go out on trips to natural areas. Thank God that they called their son to ask about his son’s activities. It was PURE SCAM. I hate people who use people! Bad to the bone!

Susan

Thank you for helping older Americans! We used to be young once.

Zach
September 13, 2022

I am 80 years old, and to quote Gilbert Chesterton - "'I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees". Just another impotent committee/group in the governmentium quagmire.

Larry Hedrick
September 13, 2022

I'm a senior citizen who's been scammed by his own relatives and is still trying to decide what to do about it. Your work is highly appreciated.

Doug
September 13, 2022

As a 75 year old person who has been bothered to craziness over so many spam calls and spam emails for maybe 30 or more years. reporting them for years, Yes I am on the no call list etc.. So, I say YES, let's form a committee and have some meetings. I believe that the government will do nothing and waste tax payer money.

Atef Hafez
September 13, 2022

This is great. I hope CFPBtakes this campaign to a higher gear for enforcement. Please refer to my fraudulent complaints against Discover Card, Apple Card, and the rest of parts of financial industry. I’m over 85 years old, and wonder how disabledsenior could survive under these illegitimate unethical business practices. Please keep the good work. Regards.

william kitchen
September 13, 2022

Last Friday we received 16 spam calls on our landline. Maybe something could be worked out with the phone companies.

Kathlene Scarlettn
September 13, 2022

O God bless you thank you so much I've got my calendar is marked. I just want to say again thank everyone of u for all the hard work u put in for us.

ROBERT ALTMAN
September 13, 2022

It is not only business scams but personal attacks of people of weighing on by using pictures of gorgeous women against lonely men who chat about striking up relationships or saying they need financial help as well as starting relationships and getting numerous illegal calls from various states or different people. This is another scam that they are acting upon to get money from people young and old

Linda Smith
September 13, 2022

Why aren't you including the seniors who have been scammed in your advisiry board?? All these supposed "professionals" haven't gone through what we've gone through. They generally base their suggestions on theory. You should be using the Seniors who've been scammed.

Linda Smith
September 13, 2022

Why aren't you including the seniors who have been scammed in your advisiry board?? All these supposed "professionals" haven't gone through what we've gone through. They generally base their suggestions on theory. You should be using the Seniors who've been scammed.

Linda Smith
September 20, 2022

Why aren't you including the seniors who have been scammed in your advisiry board?? All these supposed "professionals" haven't gone through what we've gone through. They generally base their suggestions on theory. You should be using the Seniors who've been scammed.

Mike Muroski
September 13, 2022

Glad you guys and gala are out there.

John Engelhardt
September 13, 2022

I,m quite interested in what you have to say and will be looking forward to 9/29. At age 87, you can bet I get bombarded almost daily by someone (usually with a forieign accent) hounding me to take out an "equity" loan - a stupid idea if I ever heard one. Why in the world would I want to give up a 2.25% mortgage to get a 5.25% rate on a new 30 year loan? And there is more . . .

Samuel D Perry
September 13, 2022

I welcome the purposeful initiative set by this FTC to “research”. I have had the unpleasant experience when I have been exploited financially. I find that the major error one might make can simply be whom you trust. I have been thoroughly depleted of my abilities to trust anyone at this point in my life. As a Senior citizen you are bombarded by false, fake, phony and quick witted marketing ploys. Combine that with the normalization of bad lawyers you thought you could trust. Add to this the legal maze, and quiet abandonment of clients that opens the door for very poor outcomes. We are in dire need of real proactive rapid response just so that we can breathe. I only ask that your research directly requires the use of real cases like mine. I have shared my deep wounds with the FTC. Remember, the true and real reports of Senior Financial Exploitation (as part of your “clinical trials”), can be resolved much sooner than later. We are always Waiting and losing while we wait. Sincerely yours, but I can’t breathe in this fast paced, world full of flashing technology googling up information for storage and not even speaking to me most of the time. This is a compound problem that sustains the exploitation of Senior citizens (right in my face) with full transparency and NO PENALTY. So please hurry, we are waiting while you work. Thanks for all you are doing in this regard.

Alex D. Osorio
September 13, 2022

In today's age in technology. Why is it the scammers have the upper hand. Why isn't the US government researching in tracking and catching these thieves? They are taking hard earned money from older adults. (Tax free) I was saving for my retirement and now because of my uneducated self falls victim to such a federal crime. It will be postponed another year. I just heard on the news another victim in my local county. FTC needs to help, please before more older Americans are taken advantage of.

Michael Braddock
September 13, 2022

Thank you for doing your best to protect us.

D MacDonald
September 13, 2022

FTC - the No. 1 highest and most critical priority is to implement immediately with all land-line and cell phone carriers a block of any and all scam/phising text messages and phone calls. My guess it that this would cut at least 95% of all seniors being scammed.
The FTC and committe needs to also remember that we still have an older generation that grew up and lived a life of always answering every phone call that comes in. Many older generation just can not stand to let the phone ring a fall over to the answer machine/service.
There have been many recent text messages now that look very real where the person can assume the severity of the message requires immediate attention and end up giving away all of their personal information.
My 70 year old neighbor recently came to me with a text message on her phone saying she needed to click on a link to immediately take care of a serious problem with her credit card at her bank. She wanted to click on the link and before I could stop her she clicked on it. Fortunately the link presented only a form to fill out which was asking for a lot of personal information. I explained that she can not do that because a very bad person is going to come back and scam you and possibly take all of your money from that bank. She still was not believing me and that someone would do that kind of thing to anyone.
I'm so glad the FTC is spearheading this effort. II will be hoping to hear of much success with this effort.
Best Regards
D MacDonald

Thomas Wagner
September 13, 2022

Known e-mail scams should be blocked from being distributed, by the internet service provider. Should be an FTC regulation, or a law that makes the service provider that enables the scam to be widely distributed liable.

Mark Cengia
September 30, 2022

In reply to by Thomas Wagner

I agree 100% these scammers need caught and restitution for all victims through a fund set aside to reimburse victims of all scams.

Jacqueline
September 20, 2022

This Advisory Board is going to awsome. Its a great vision in a much neede are, as an okder adult myself, i have been scammed& lost money on several occations, its going to be nice to be able to see this new Board advocate for this cause& hopefull provide resources to these victims as well as information& support.Thankyou for stepping up, recognizing this issue& hopefully make changes for the good. I k ow i appriciate this very much.

Jacqueline
September 13, 2022

This Advisory Board is going to awsome. Its a great vision in a much neede are, as an okder adult myself, i have been scammed& lost money on several occations, its going to be nice to be able to see this new Board advocate for this cause& hopefull provide resources to these victims as well as information& support.Thankyou for stepping up, recognizing this issue& hopefully make changes for the good. I k ow i appriciate this very much.

Charlotte Raquet
September 22, 2022

I think it a real shame that both at the Federal level and the State level that the "Do Not Call List" program is doing nothing to counter the vast number of scam calls we get every day- you call only block so many and I think I have max'd out mine. Living in a retirement area leaves us little choice as we are a "targeted population". Many of us do not have fancy cell phones or caller ID (which changes every time the same person tries again to make some kind of pitch) and the robo calls MUST STOP - all hours of the day and night from around the world from speakers who barely can speak English and never can pronounce a name. Even leaving a short message on my answering machine doesn't stop most of them. I know many use old lists as well because I get calls asking for either of the last 2 who had this phone number. My answer now is "sorry she just died".

Ingrid Pope
September 13, 2022

The Daily Robo Calls are to much to handle with deals and fraud and getting personal information from consumers.
It is time to stop the calls that are never ending from morning to evening at times to 9:00pm.
To request to remove the phone number form there records is useless.

Lawrence Hinds
September 13, 2022

Glad to hear about this advisory group happening. The issues involving seniors getting scammed has been so prevalent it warrants serious consideration and action to counter the attacks.

Trinny
September 13, 2022

I am totally happy finally that ftc.gov Combat Scams Against Elderly Disabled consumers. Bank of America/First American Title Company has used my name repeatedly in California for real estate numerous times. I do not know how to get my name removed. I get so many many scams/robo callers sick all the time when cell phone rings late at night. Fake Medicare/Insurance companies call from Foreign Countries and U.S.A. This would be an extremely helpful. Trying to clean my FICO Bureaus Transunion, Experian and Equifax reported wrong address refuse to remove and Annualreport.com did not send to me. Thank you

B. Gudmundsson
September 16, 2022

I'm grateful for your continued efforts on behalf of seniors. It breaks my heart when I hear about someone losing all their savings to a scammer. I'm 78 and appreciate the FTC warning of current scams and generally looking out for seniors.

Sonia P
September 16, 2022

I would love to attend this workshop and learn the techniques of the scammers . How do I sign up?

FTC Staff
September 20, 2022

In reply to by Sonia P

You don't need to sign up in advance. On September 29, 2022 2:30 pm ET, go to www.ftc.gov. There will be an announcement on that page, and a link to the video broadcast of the meeting.

Elizabeth A Schnell
September 16, 2022

Is there a way to send comments for this meeting? Here would be my comment:

One easy fix would be if the phone company could give customers an option to block calls that the phone company has identified as "suspected spam" and calls where the caller has blocked caller id from identifying their name or number which are labelled "unavailable". So far for phone service on a landline, ATT only identifies the calls using caller id. In a household where someone has dementia, there is no way to keep the person from answering the phone even if the calls are identified -- so the household needs to be able to block them.

FTC Staff
September 20, 2022

In reply to by Elizabeth A Schnell

If you have a landline that doesn’t use the internet (VoIP), you can buy and install a call-blocking device. Call-blocking devices are typically small boxes you attach to your phone.

Some devices use databases of known scam numbers but let you add numbers you want blocked. Other devices rely on you to create and update your own list of numbers to block.

Some devices also use lists of approved numbers. That helps you limit which calls get through, or lets you set up “do not disturb” hours during which calls go straight to voicemail. Other devices try to weed out robocalls by playing a prerecorded message prompting callers to press a number to continue the call. Read more about unwanted calls at www.ftc.gov/calls.

Crystal
September 26, 2022

I'm in the group just above 60. I had to report a scam of which I was a victim. FTC was notified, and as I got more information I updated them. I am thankful for their assistance. I plan to join the meeting.

Lynda Dallas
September 28, 2022

I have just emailed FTC on a potential scam attempt via an employee who claims to be calling from the FTC. I would VERY MUCH like to participate in the meeting on the 29th, but I have a doctor's appointment at that time. Will you record and post the information provided?

FTC Staff
September 30, 2022

In reply to by Lynda Dallas

Thank you for reporting the scam caller who pretended to be from the FTC.

The event is going to be webcast live, but not recorded. You can see some information now. There are links to the meeting agenda and biographies of the Advisory Group members on the event page: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/events/2022/09/scams-against-older-adul….

The Advisory Group will form four committees to tackle the following topics over the new year: 1) expanding consumer education efforts; 2) improving industry training on scam prevention; 3) identifying new methods to detect and stop scams; and 4) developing research on consumer or employee engagement to reduce fraud.

CSR Artist
September 30, 2022

Thank you. Hopefully we can do something about the increased number of scam calls our seniors are getting. Far too many upset and feeling they are at fault for something these scam people do to take advantage of our older adults.