Elder fraud on rise: Older Iowans lost more than $16.4 million in 2023

A webpage with the title, "Avoiding Scams and Fraud for Older Adults." Elder Fraud

(AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

By Amie Rivers

May 9, 2024

A new report shows the number of Americans getting scammed is on the rise, and elder fraud is the most common.

Iowa ranked 33rd in the nation for elder fraud, or the number of residents over 60 years of age reporting fraud, and 34th in the nation for the amount of money taken, according to the FBI’s 2023 Elder Fraud Report.

That’s slightly lower than Iowa’s ranking as the nation’s 30th most populous state.

In 2023, 674 Iowans age 60 and above reported having $16,434,421 stolen via scams.

Older Americans were the largest age group getting scammed, with 101,068 adults over 60 reporting fraud to the FBI, or 24% of all age groups. That’s roughly in line with the percentage of Americans who are 60 and older, which was 23.6% in 2022, according to the US Census Bureau.

But the money taken from that age group climbed 11% over 2022—more than $3.4 billion in 2023—and complaints were up 14%.

The most common form of scams on Americans 60 and older were tech support scams. But the fraud where the most money was lost—more than $1.2 billion—were investment scams.

Read more about it in the FBI’s Elder Fraud Report.


Read: Sioux City Republican activist gets light prison sentence for 52 acts of voter fraud

  • Amie Rivers

    Amie Rivers is Starting Line's community editor, labor reporter and newsletter snarker-in-chief. Previously, she was an award-winning journalist at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier; now, she very much enjoys making TikToks and memes. Send all story tips and pet photos to [email protected] and sign up for our newsletter here.

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