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 Fraud Statistics


According to research conducted in several statewide surveys around the country, fraudulent telemarketing techniques have victimized 26 percent of the entire U.S. adult population at some point in their lives. Every year, these victims, 57 percent of whom are over the age of 50, lose a total of $40 billion to telemarketing fraud alone, according to a 2001 AARP study. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 25 million Americans are victims of consumer fraud each year. Identity theft alone hits 10 million victims each year. Older investors are a favorite target of con artists who focus on investment fraud. Research shows that baby boomers and older investors are natural targets for a wide variety of unscrupulous marketing practices because they have had more time to accumulate significant assets for retirement. Pursuit of seniors’ “nest eggs” is one of the fastest growing consumer fraud issues today.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are 37.3 million people 65 and older in the United States as of 2006. This represents 12 percent of the total population. A Baby Boomer (born between 1946 and 1964) turns 60 every 8 seconds. Between 2005 and 2006, this age group increased by 473,000 people. The U.S. population age 65 and over is expected to double in size within the next 25 years. By 2030, almost 1-out-of-5 Americans – some 72 million people- will be 65 years or older. By the year 2050, there will be 86.7 million people age 65 and older comprising 21 percent of the total population. The age group 85 and older is now the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population according to a recent study by the National Institute on Aging. Florida (17.9%), Pennsylvania (15.6%) and West Virginia (15.3%) are the “oldest” states, with the highest percentages of people age 65 and older.