DATCP on Protecting Seniors from Scammers, Identity Thieves ahead of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Saturday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and the
Wisconsin Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection is just one of the
agencies on both a state and national level that’s encouraging people to know
the signs of elder abuse. Michelle Reinen, the Director of the state’s Bureau
of Consumer Protection says their focus is on financial crimes and scams, but the
scope of the awareness day is much bigger than that. When it comes down to it,
she says seniors are usually a top target of scammers and identity thieves. “While
the statistics show that seniors are reporting being victim of these scammers
less frequently than our millennials, we know from their reports of frauds that
they are targeted more frequently for these scams,” Reinen said.

Reinen says that as a person’s age goes up, so does the amount
of money lost to scams. “When a senior victim is in their 70s, the median loss
is more than 700-dollars,” she said. “For consumers that are 80 or over, that
loss is more than 17-hundred dollars – so, four times a victim that’s in their twenties.”
Reinen says we need to continue talking with our seniors about how to protect
themselves from falling victim to these scams, and suggests that seniors be encouraged
to talk to millennials on how to say no to the scammers and identity thieves that
might be targeting them.

Find resources for Elder Abuse in Wisconsin here