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Midlife and Older Adults Are Talking to Loved Ones About Scams

Experiences With Fraud Among U.S. Adults 50+ With a Focus on Family Caregivers

In a recent short survey, AARP asked adults 50 and older and family caregivers about their experiences losing money to a scam. 

Nearly one-fifth (17%) of adults 50-plus say that an older loved one has experienced a scam and lost money as a result, while more than half (54%) of those who lost money noted a loss of more than $1,000. A similar percentage of family caregivers (19%) say that their care recipient had lost money due to a scam.

Other Key Findings

  • Majorities (82%) of U.S. adults age 50-plus say they are talking to their older loved ones about scams, with family caregivers slightly more likely to report doing so (85%).

  • When asked to select the statement that most closely aligns with their views on scams, nearly six in 10 (57%) adults whose loved one lost money rightfully place the blame on the criminal scammer.

  • When possible, we also investigated the experiences of family caregivers and their care recipients. Although the total number of family caregivers in our study is small, their experiences are nonetheless instructive.

Methodology

This national survey was conducted for AARP using NORC at the University of Chicago's Foresight 50+ Consumer Omnibus. It was administered via mixed mode (online and phone) January 20–24, 2022 with a total sample of 1,014 adults ages 50-plus. All data are weighted to the latest Current Population Survey (CPS) benchmarks and are balanced by gender, age, education, race/ethnicity, and region.

For more information, please contact Teresa A. Keenan at tkeenan@aarp.org. For media inquiries, please contact External Relations at media@aarp.org.

Suggested citation:

Keenan, Teresa A. Experiences With Fraud Among U.S. Adults 50-Plus With a Focus on Family Caregivers. Washington, DC: AARP Research, February 2022. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00522.001

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An AARP National Fraud Frontiers Report

This national report examines the incidence of scam encounters among US adults, as well as financial losses and factors affecting fraud susceptibility.

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