IRS, Fraudulent Sweepstakes Most Common Phone Scams Targeting Older Adults, Senate Says

February 26, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Fraudulent phone calls claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were the most common scam targeting older adults reported to the Senate Aging Committee's Fraud Hotline in 2015, according to a report from the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The report details the top 10 scams from among the 1,108 complaints filed with the hotline in 2015; the top 10 represent more than 90% of the complaints. The other most frequent scams included sweepstakes, unsolicited or unwanted phone calls, computer scams, attempted identity theft, and scams in which the caller pretends to be the victim's grandchild or have the grandchild in their custody. The most calls to the hotline came from Maine (189), Maryland (124), and California (120); the fewest came from Alaska, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island, each with one call during 2015.

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