IC3 – The mission of the FBI is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. This mission includes our efforts to combat financial crimes targeting seniors. The FBI, in alignment with the Department of Justice Elder Fraud Initiative and the efforts of our internal and external partners, is committed to this mission. It is from this commitment to the American people that the FBI provides the public an avenue to report fraud through the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
The IC3 receives and tracks thousands of complaints daily, reported by victims of fraud. This reporting is key to identifying, investigating, and holding those responsible accountable for their actions. Victims of fraud have the option to identify their age range when submitting a complaint to IC3; the information contained in this report is derived from complaints submitted by or on behalf of victims aged 60 and over.
Each year, millions of elderly Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud or internet scheme, such as romance scams, tech support fraud, and lottery or sweepstake scams. Criminals gain their targets’ trust or use tactics of intimidation and threats to take advantage of their victims. Once successful, scammers are likely to keep a scheme going because of the prospect of significant financial gain.
In 2020, IC3 received a total of 791,790 complaints with reported losses exceeding $4.1 billion. Based on the information provided in the complaints, approximately 28% of the total fraud losses were sustained by victims over the age of 60, resulting in approximately $1 billion in losses to seniors. This represents an increase of approximately $300 million in losses reported in 2020 versus what was reported by victims over 60 in 2019.
To educate the public and provide as much information on the types of frauds targeting seniors as possible, the IC3 is offering its first publication of the 2020 IC3 Elder Fraud Annual Report. This report is a companion report to the 2020 IC3 Annual Report released in March 2021. These reports, along with other publications, are available at www.IC3.gov.
It is only by victims reporting fraud that we can identify trends, educate the public, and support investigations, and nowhere is this more important than crimes against seniors.