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Defeating Deception

Gauging the Fraud Knowledge & Experience of Coloradans 50+



State data from the Sentinel shows that Colorado ranks 15th in the nation for the number of identity theft complaints in 2016 and 23rd in fraud complaints (33,745).  In Colorado, the top complaints were around debt collection, imposter scams, and phone or mobile services. 
Key findings include the following:
  • Most Coloradans age 50 and older are concerned about becoming the victim of identity theft with almost half (44%) of all respondents saying they are very or extremely concerned.   

  • Half (51%) of all older Coloradans noticed fraudulent charges on their debit or credit card, and two in five (40%) have received a notice that personal or account information has been compromised.

  • When asked if they have called or ordered a free credit report from in the past year, most (83%) say no.

  • Over one in five (22%) failed their fraud/scam knowledge quiz, answering 5 or fewer of the 10 questions correctly. 

  • Older Coloradans need to know where to report potential and actual scams – most turn to no one, banks, credit unions, or credit card companies.  Few report incidents to authorities.

AARP Foundation Elderwatch commissioned Alan Newman Research (ANR) to conduct a phone survey of Coloradans age 50 and older to gauge their experience with fraud or scams, their perception of fraud, knowledge of scams, and what measures they have taken to prevent being a target or victim or at risk for either. This study was fielded in September 2017 and yielded 1,000 completed surveys.  For more information contact Jennifer Sauer at


Suggested Citation:

Sauer, Jennifer. Defeating Deception: Gauging the Fraud Knowledge & Experience of Coloradans 50+. Washington, DC: AARP Research, November 2017.

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