Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

FBI Sounds Alarm as Elderly Kentuckians Continue to Lose Millions of Dollars to Online Scams | Crime reports

By meerna Jun12,2024

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky’s elderly were defrauded out of almost $13 million in 2023 – which is about the same amount seniors already lost in 2024, less than halfway through the year.

That’s why the FBI is focused on putting an end to this before more people lose their hard-earned money.

People like Patti Kaster, who lost her life after being led to believe that she was dealing with her bank by liquidating all of her assets.

“It was terrible,” Kaster said after sharing how she lost $1.7 million last year.

“I lost everything, absolutely everything,” the 75-year-old told WDRB in early June.

The scammers managed to convince her they were dealing with someone from Stock Yards Bank as part of an investigation into fraudulent Amazon orders. She even sold her house.

“I just can’t believe I was so naive,” she said.

According to FBI data, Kaster is one of thousands of elderly people in Kentucky who fell victim to fraud schemes worth $12.8 million in 2023. The same data shows that older Kentuckians have already lost $12.7 million this year.

FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge Kirstin Passmore said the money represented people’s life savings.

“Talking to the victims and learning how this has impacted their daily lives is truly heartbreaking,” Passmore said. “Many of these victims lose their entire life savings to a person they thought they were in love with and that they knew who that person was.”

Passmore offers some tips to make sure you or your loved one doesn’t fall for one of these scams:

  • Never click on a link from someone you don’t know.
  • Review your financial statements for suspicious items.
  • Destroy anything that contains your personal data.
  • If you receive an email from someone claiming to be from a government agency, check to see if the email address is real.

Kaster believed she was receiving emails from the Federal Trade Commission, but upon checking, she found they were coming from her Gmail account. By then it was too late.

Passmore said not to make another move if you see red flags.

“If people are contacting you and you don’t know who they are and things are starting to look confusing, take a breath,” Passmore said. “Call someone – call a family member, call the FBI – and we will review the information and discuss it with you.”

Passmore said not to feel ashamed if you fall victim because it can happen to anyone. The most important thing, she said, is to report fraud.

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By meerna

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