MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Anyone could fall victim to a scammer, but the older you get the more susceptible you may become.
“We see it all the time,” said Senior Marketing Specialist Jack Galassini. “People basically 60 years of age and older, sometimes they are not as fast as they used to be or sharp like when they were younger and this is where the scammers try to get to them.”
Statistics show that not only do people from ages 60 to 69 get scammed the most, they also get scammed out of the most money. Officials say there's a direct relationship between age and how much money you stand to lose.
“For the people who’ve reported fraud in there 20s the amount per loss is $400. That’s the average. If they’re in their 80s, the amount is $1,700,” said AARP Alabama Interim Associate Director of Communications Evey Owen. “It is a considerable amount more per loss the older a person gets.”
We’re told that the majority of all scams happen over the phone, so if you hear your phone ring and someone starts asking you for personal information, you should just hang up.
“Screen your calls,” said Owen. “Let them go to voicemail. If its a legitimate organization or legitimate business, they’ll leave a message.”
Officials say you should also avoid anything that asks you for money, or asks you for bank or credit card information.
“Never make a commitment over the phone and never ever give them numbers, any kind of numbers,” Galassini said.
Alabama ranks 11th in the country for highest number of fraud and scam reports. If you feel that you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it to the Better Business Bureau.