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The FBI is warning of a new scam that’s targeting older Americans. According to new data by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, a growing number of seniors have fallen victim to cryptocurrency scams.
“A lot of times you see these calls and these scams emanate from Southeast Asia,” said Michael Balboni, former Homeland Security adviser for the state of New York and President of Redland Strategies.
The victims were taken for more than a billion dollars in crypto rip-offs in 2022, an 84% increase in losses from the previous year. Officials say most of these scams were investment related.
Balboni said the average amount lost has been $35,000.
“Out of the blue, someone calls and says, ‘Mr. so-and-so, we’d love to have you consider investments’, and what typically happens is they have this whole script that they get through when they say, you know, ‘Have you seen that 250% valuation in investments for cryptocurrency?’” said Balboni.
The crime against those 60 and older is particularly alarming given the fact that more than half have admitted to having little or no knowledge of cryptocurrencies.