Skip to main content

Elder Fraud

Avoiding Scams and Swindles

If you or a loved one has been a victim, call the National Elder Fraud Hot-line 1-833-373-8311

Reporting from consumers about fraud and fraud attempts is critical to law enforcements efforts to investigate and prosecute schemes targeting older adults. If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is available the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833 FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This Department of Justice Hotline, managed by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professional who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the needs of the victim and identifying next steps. The hotline is staffed seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.[ET]. English, Spanish and other languages are available. More information about the Department’s elder justice efforts can be found on the Department’s Elder Justice website,

What is Elder Fraud?

Elder fraud is the act of exploiting older adults for monetary gain, such as financial fraud or identity theft. Fraudsters take advantage of seniors through numerous fear-based tactics. By posing as grandchildren or romantic interests, or emailing about bogus investment opportunities, over $5.9 billion in losses occur each year among the senior population. Elder fraud can have devastating effects not only financially, but emotionally as well.


1.  Find the right reporting agency using this Elder Financial Abuse Resource Roadmap

2.  Call the National Elder Fraud Hotline (1-833–372–8311)

3.  Call the Victim Connect Hotline (1-855-484-2846) from 9am-6pm EST, Monday-Friday

Common Tactics of Scammers:

FEAR: There will be a serious problem and you will need to send money quickly to fix it.

HOPE: Money is coming to you, but you need to pay money to get it.

LOVE: Someone you’ve met Online is in love with you, but you can’t meet them and they need money.

PRESSURE: They will want to send money quickly, and sometimes in odd ways.

ISOLATION: They will tell you not to talk to anyone else.

THREATS: To harm precious property if money is not handed over.


Warning Signs in Phishing Messages:

Urging you to update or validate your account.

Threatening to terminate the account if you do not reply.

Use gift or bonus as a bait.

“Verify your account.” Businesses should not ask you to send passwords, login names, Social Security numbers, or other personal information through e-mail.

“If you don’t respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed.”

"Dear Valued Customer.” Phishing e-mail messages are usually sent out in bulk and often do not contain your first or last name.

“Click the link below to gain access to your account.”

How To Protect Yourself:

Never respond to an email asking for personal information.

Always check the site to see if it is secure. Call the phone number if necessary.

Double check the sender.

Never click on the link on the email.

Retype the address in a new window.

Keep your browser updated.

Keep antivirus protections updated.

Don’t let emotions get the best of you.

Talk to a close relative or someone you trust.

Updated April 2, 2024