FBI: 4 elderly victims of cyber fraud in NMI in 2021

FBI official says number of elderly victims of fraud nationwide has risen at alarming rate, loss amounts even more staggering

Nationally the CNMI ranked 57th in 2021 among states and territories that reported incidents of cyber fraud among victims over 60 years old, with records showing four victims and a total of $3,000 in fraud losses. In comparison, Guam ranks 55th nationwide with 16 victims over 60 years old and $1.58 million in fraud losses.

American Samoa, on the other hand, ranks 56th with seven victims and a total of $148,600 in fraud losses. California is top-ranked, with 12,951 victims and $427.26 million in fraud losses.

These numbers form part of the 2021 Elder Fraud Report that the Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Investigation Division released yesterday, showing that the number of elderly victims has risen at an alarming rate, while the loss amounts are even more staggering.

FBI CID assistant director Luis M. Quesada stated in the 2021 Elder Fraud Report that 92,371 victims were over the age of 60 years old and reported losses of $1.7 billion to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3.

Quesada said this represents a 74% increase in losses from over 60 years old reported in 2020.

He said through this voluntary submission of information, the IC3 receives and tracks thousands of complaints each day. Quesada said these complaints contain the details of multiple schemes, including romance scams, investment fraud, government impersonation, and tech support fraud.

As a result of these trends and the FBI’s emphasis on protecting seniors, Quesada said the FBI is publishing this 2021 IC3 Elder Fraud Annual Report. He said the FBI, working with the Department of Justice Elder Fraud Initiative and other internal and external partners, is committed to identifying, investigating, and prosecuting criminals who target seniors.

According to the report, over 60 years old victims experienced 24% of the total loss of all IC3 complaints received in 2021. The average loss per victim was $18,246.

The least victims were under 20 years old, showing 14,919 with total losses of $101.43 million.

The FBI recently released the 2021 Internet Crime Annual Report, showing that the CNMI ranks 56th among states and territories that reported incidents of cyber and internet crimes in 2021, with records showing 29 victims and a total of $705,244 in fraud losses.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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