ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona near top of states with most elder fraud victims in 2022

Apr 18, 2023, 4:05 AM

Stock photo of senior man using laptop to illustrate story on elder fraud...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — When it comes to fraud schemes that target older citizens, few states were hit harder last year than Arizona.

Only the country’s four largest states had more documented fraud victims 60 and older than Arizona in 2022, according to an FBI report released Monday.

The 2022 Elder Fraud Report from the FBI’s Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3) shows 3,543 victims in the Grand Canyon State.

California led the nation with 11,517 victims, followed by Florida (8,480), Texas (5,674) and New York (4,239). Those states all have at least twice as many residents as Arizona.

Arizona’s victims lost $82.2 million, ranking seventh nationally. That’s an average of over $23,000 per victim.

Documented cases of elder fraud soared last year across the nation, with 88,262 victims losing $3.1 billion, an 84% monetary increase from 2021.

The average loss nationally was over $35,000, with more than 5,400 victims losing at least $100,000.

Tech and customer support call center schemes were the most numerous across the U.S., with 17,810 victims losing $587.8 million.

Investment scams were the most costly, accounting for $990.2 million in losses.

“Monetary losses due to investment fraud reported by victims over 60 increased over 300%, more than any other kind of fraud, largely due to the rising trend of cryptoinvestment scams,” Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division said in the report’s introduction section.

“In almost every crime type tracked by the IC3, losses involving cryptocurrency increased.”

Anybody who believes they were a victim of elder fraud, or who knows somebody who was, is encouraged to file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crimes Complaint Center.

“Providing detailed information, including complete summaries and financial transactions, assists the FBI with investigating and disrupting the frauds that are devastating our citizens,” Quesada said.

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Arizona near top of states with most elder fraud victims in 2022