Experience with Scams Among Older Adults

Info on Scams

Scams are fraudulent schemes that take something of value and can include government impersonation, deceitful sweepstakes, and investment scams. Among older adults, fraud from scams results in more than $1 billion in individual losses each year and can severely impact health and well-being. In July and August 2023, the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging asked a national sample of adults age 50–80 about their experiences with scams and their views on ways to protect against them.

Personal experiences with scams

Three in four adults age 50–80 (75%) reported that they experienced a scam attempt online or by phone, text, email, or mail in the past two years. Scam attempts were more frequently reported by men (78% vs. 73% women), those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (79% vs. 71% some college or less), and those who reported that their memory is fair or poor (83% vs. 74% with better memory).

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