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Crimes Against Seniors

According to the Consumer Law Center, Inc. (CLC), Americans lose an estimated $40 billion each year to the fraudulent sale of goods and services over the telephone.  The elderly are frequent targets of telemarketing frauds and sweepstakes scams. Studies conducted by CLC reveal that “fraudulent telemarketers direct anywhere from 56 percent to nearly 80 percent of their calls at older customers. One sweepstakes-related scam detailed on CBS’s 60 Minutes reportedly bilked seniors in 24 states out of an estimated $5 billion.”

The National Crime Prevention Council is working to design, implement, promote, and evaluate a strategic approach to prevent telemarketing fraud and related crimes against seniors by promoting awareness and action on preventive strategies by senior consumers, law enforcement, and other community resources. 

NCPC's work with seniors is at the initial stages. Check back periodically for more information on the following:

  • Conduct research on the attitudes and awareness of seniors about telemarketing fraud and scams to identify trends, opinions, and messages that will move seniors to take the action to reduce or avoid risks. The research will examine issues as older Americans see them, particularly their worries and fears and their issues with respect to preserving their financial health.
  • Devise a media campaign to include public service advertising featuring McGruff the Crime Dog and matte features focused on fraud prevention
  • Identify examples of prevention practices, resources, and successes from within the network of the Crime Prevention Coalition of America and other partner organizations
  • Provide senior consumers with online telemarketing prevention resources and tips and the opportunity to request additional tips via a periodic e-bulletin and fact sheets
  • Develop, implement, and promote training and related tools for law enforcement working with seniors
  • Develop telemarketing fraud and scam prevention-focused partnerships with law enforcement organizations, federal agencies, and nonprofit groups serving seniors, building a network of linked prevention resources

Financial Fraud:

Rapid Response Outreach Tools on Financial Fraud

Improving Public Safety Series of Crime Prevention Podcast on Senior Crime

Listen to Senior Financial Fraud Radio PSA

Watch the Elder Financial Fraud Segment here.

Elder Abuse:

Rapid Response Outreach Tools on Financial Fraud

Listen to Elder Abuse Prevention Radio PSA

Watch the Elder Abuse News Segment here.


Senior citizens are often targeted by scam artists. These publications are meant to help keep older Americans from becoming victims. Click here for Publications.


Safer Seniors
Use Common Sense to Spot a Con
Online Auction Fraud
Senior Citizens Against Crime
Un Futuro Mas Seguro Para las personas Mayores
Fighting Fraud 101(Smart Tips for Investors)
Avoiding Investment Scams Alert
Investor Knowledge Quiz

For further information, download Topics in Crime Prevention: Working With Older Americans (PDF).

Click here for a campaign aimed at older Americans to keep them from becoming victims of fraud and identity theft.

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