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Florida Second in Country in Elder Financial Fraud: $180 Million in Confirmed Losses in 2023 Alone


On May 14th, 2024, NBC 6 South Florida reported that our state has the dubious distinction of being home to the second highest total amount of elder financial fraud in the entire country. Notably, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center (ICCC) reports that elder financial fraud nationwide spiked 14 percent nationwide in 2023. Here, our Miami deceptive trade practice attorneys discuss the report and explain your options if your elderly loved one was a fraud victim.

Elder Financial Fraud a Major (and Growing) Problem in Florida

 In 2023, Florida was the second-leading state for elder financial fraud. The state reported nearly 8,500 elder fraud victims. Unfortunately, the true extent of elder financial exploitation in South Florida is almost undoubtedly dramatically higher. Elder financial fraud is systematically underreported. In some cases, it is not reported to authorities at all.

Why Senior Citizens Face Heightened Fraud Risks 

Unfortunately, senior citizens are vulnerable to fraud. Sadly, the most elderly members of our community face some of the highest risks from financial fraudsters. Here are three key reasons why senior citizens in Florida are considered to face the highest risk:

  1. Many senior citizens often have significant assets (life savings);
  2. Many senior citizens have limited experience with technology; and
  3. Some senior citizens are dealing with cognitive decline.

 Four Steps to Take If Your Elderly Loved One Was the Victim of a Scam 

Was your elderly parent or vulnerable senior citizen loved one the victim of a fraud scheme or commercial deception in Florida? You can help them protect their rights and get justice. Here are four steps to take:

  1. Protect their Accounts: The first, most urgent step is to secure their financial accounts. Typically, this involves contacting banks, credit card companies, and any other financial institutions to alert them of the fraud. You may need to change passwords and shut-off access to accounts.
  2. Document the Fraud: Documentation is key. Gathering all available evidence about the fraud is the second step to justice. Be sure to collect/organize every piece of communication related to the scam, including emails, text messages, and call logs. Additionally, you should also preserve any financial records.
  3. File a Report: Reporting the fraud is vital for several reasons. First, it helps alert authorities to the scam, contributing to broader efforts to combat such crimes. You should file a report with the local police, state regulators, and potential federal regulators.
  4. Consult With a Lawyer: An attorney can help you determine the best course of action. Your family and your loved one may have rights under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) or another state/federal law.

 Get Help From a Consumer Fraud and FDUTPA Claims Lawyer in South Florida

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida FDUTPA attorneys have the experience to protect the rights of fraud victims, including victims of elder financial fraud. If your elderly loved one was the victim of deception or other unfair commercial practices, we are here to help. Give us a phone call now or connect with us directly through our website to set up a confidential initial appointment.



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