In 2023, retirement scams will be a growing concern for individuals approaching retirement age. Scammers are constantly devising new and sophisticated methods to deceive and defraud unsuspecting victims, leaving them financially devastated and struggling to make ends meet in their golden years. The Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Scam Tracker Risk Report for 2020 found that individuals aged 65 and older were the most likely to lose money to scams, with a median loss of $750 per scam.
Retirement scams can come in many forms, such as investment fraud, identity theft, and phishing schemes, to name a few. With the prevalence of these scams, retirees and those nearing retirement age must educate themselves on the common tactics scammers use and take measures to protect their retirement savings.
Here are the top two scams to be on the lookout for this year:
Investment fraud is one of the most prevalent retirement scams in 2023. Investment scams were among the top three types of scams reported to the FTC in 2020, with over 64,000 reports and a reported loss of over $336 million. Investment scams are becoming more prevalent. Scammers use various methods to lure in their victims, such as promises of high returns or exclusive investment opportunities that are only available for a limited time. They may also use high-pressure sales tactics to convince individuals to make quick decisions without adequately researching the investment opportunity or consulting a financial professional. These scams often result in significant financial losses, leaving retirees with little to no savings to support themselves in retirement.
Another type of retirement scam that is becoming increasingly common in 2023 is identity theft. Scammers use personal information to open credit accounts, file false tax returns, or access retirement accounts. They may also use phishing emails or phone calls to trick individuals into giving out their personal information, such as Social Security numbers or bank account information. Once scammers can access this information, they can use it to steal retirement savings or commit other financial fraud. Identity theft can devastate retirees, leaving them with damaged credit and significant financial losses, with long-term consequences that involve multiple steps to verify their identity.
To protect themselves from retirement scams in 2023, individuals nearing retirement age or already retired should take a few key steps:
- Being wary of unsolicited investment opportunities or high-pressure sales tactics is important. Individuals should thoroughly research any investment opportunity. Consider consulting with a financial professional before making any decisions.
- Individuals should protect their personal information, such as Social Security numbers and bank account information. They should only give out this information if they are certain of the request’s legitimacy.
- Individuals should stay informed about the latest retirement scams and take action to report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities.
In conclusion, retirement scams continue to be a major concern for individuals in 2023 who are nearing retirement age or have already retired. Scammers are constantly devising new and sophisticated methods to defraud unsuspecting victims, leaving them financially devastated and struggling to make ends meet in their golden years. Investment fraud and identity theft are just two examples of scams that retirees should be aware of and take measures to protect themselves against. By staying informed about the latest scams and taking steps to protect their retirement savings, individuals can help ensure they enjoy a secure and comfortable retirement.