Grandmother from Mid-South claims to have been cheated by a company during her job search

The FBI has recently issued a warning about a growing issue known as “elder fraud”. According to the report, individuals aged 60 and above are being targeted at an alarming rate by scammers. This group is particularly vulnerable to these types of scams, making it all the more important to raise awareness about this issue.

According to a recent report obtained by the Action News 5 investigators, the FBI’s 2023 Elder Fraud Report has revealed numerous complaints and losses reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Reported losses from individuals over the age of 60 are expected to increase by 11% in 2023, in comparison to the numbers reported in 2022.

Complaints lodged by individuals over 60 years of age also witnessed a notable surge of 14%. The year 2023 witnessed a nationwide loss of $3.4 billion amongst this age group, out of which Tennessee accounted for $43 million in losses.

According to FBI Supervisory Special Agent David Palmer, if someone offers you an investment scheme that seems too good to be true, it most likely is a scam.

According to Palmer, there has been a rise in scams and senior citizens are falling prey to such fraudulent activities resulting in significant losses.

A tough lesson was learned by Rhonda Reaves, 67, a grandmother residing in Nesbit, Mississippi, who is close to retirement. She is still coming to terms with the fact that she was conned out of $5,000 last month.

She expressed her shame for her actions, yet her message was clear: if anyone is willing to listen, please be cautious. She emphasized that she had worked tirelessly for her money, and it was simply unjust for it to be taken away.

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In her account, she mentioned that she engaged in lengthy conversations with individuals in virtual chatrooms, whom she believed were human resource personnel for a remote job.

Reaves expressed his belief in everything they said.

According to her, they were able to get hold of her phone number by finding her LinkedIn account, which she had utilized to secure a part-time job as a notary.

Reaves shared that he once received a text message from an HR assistant on his number.

After considering her options, she believed that it was ideal for her to contribute towards her retirement savings. However, she started to have doubts when she was requested to transfer funds to her employer and convert the amount to Bitcoin in order to prevent any tracking. The situation seemed suspicious to her.

Reaves lamented, “I am supposed to earn money; how did I allow them to turn the tables on me?”

“It’s a lesson learned,” she stated.

According to her, “To clear any doubts, you can visit the BBB and go through all the scams listed there.”

As per the report, senior citizens are most vulnerable to scams related to cryptocurrency investments or fake technical support, where scammers pose as customer service representatives. Other common scams include those targeting businesses, as well as confidence and romance scams.

According to the FBI, California tops the list when it comes to elder fraud, followed by Tennessee at number 20, Arkansas at number 34, and Mississippi at number 38.

Inquiring with the FBI as to why individuals over the age of 60 are often the target of scams, the Action News 5 investigators sought answers.

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According to special agent Palmer, older individuals tend to have more disposable income and savings that they could potentially invest. Additionally, they may not be as familiar or comfortable with utilizing various online services.

According to Palmer, if you happen to fall victim to fraud, it’s important to immediately cease any further money transfers and terminate all communication with the scammer.

According to him, the best course of action would be to immediately contact or file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. This will enable them to take swift action and work towards recovering your lost funds.

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