Older Americans scammed out of $1.7 billion in 2021, FBI says

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Scams targeting older adults skyrocket

Adults implicit 60 scammed retired of $1.7 cardinal successful 2021, FBI says 02:16

Chesterfield, Virginia — Three years ago, Sherri got a telephone telephone informing that her slope records had been recovered successful a car loaded with amerciable drugs. 

"I went into a authorities of shock," she said. 

The caller said helium was a Drug Enforcement Administration cause and demanded she nonstop currency to debar trouble.

"All I tin retrieve is sending wealth each implicit the country," Sherri, who asked CBS News not to usage her afloat name, said, adding that she sent the scammers "hundreds of thousands of dollars."

The fig of scams targeting Americans implicit the property of 60 exploded during the pandemic, with upwards of 92,000 victims successful 2021 alone, according to the FBI. Last year, older Americans were scammed retired of $1.7 billion, a 74% summation from 2020, according to a caller FBI report. 

"Financially, I'm ruined," Sherri said. 

Even erstwhile FBI and CIA manager William Webster was targeted successful a Jamaican lottery scam successful 2014 erstwhile a caller claimed helium won a sweepstakes. The unsolicited caller became threatening erstwhile Webster declined to wage $50,000 to cod the winnings. 

"If it tin hap to me, it tin hap to you," Webster warned successful a nationalist work announcement. 

FBI cause Ronald Miller said the scammers who targeted Sherri person stolen $10 cardinal to date. The scammers enactment overseas with U.S. collaborators who determination the cash. 

Miller told CBS News that older Americans are often targeted because, "They're lonely. They're trustworthy. They judge it's legit." 

There are 5,000 others retired determination similar Sherri and lone a fewer arrests person been made, according to the FBI. 

In: FBI

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