Telemarketing theft climbs to more than $622 million in under a year.
Data firms are selling names and data on elderly Americans to known lawbreakers. [story]
The thieves operated from small offices in Toronto and hangar-size rooms in India.
Every night, working from lists of names and phone numbers, they called World War II veterans, retired schoolteachers and thousands of other elderly Americans and posed as government and insurance workers updating their files.
Then, the criminals emptied their victims’ bank accounts.
Evidence of social isolation:
One victim, a 92 year old WWII veteran said, “I loved getting those calls. Since my wife passed away, I don’t have many people to talk with. I didn’t even know they were stealing from me, until everything was gone.”
A global criminal enterprise preying upon millions…
3.3 million “Elderly Opportunity Seekers”
4.7 million “Suffering Seniors”
In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission estimated that 11 percent of Americans over age 55 [!!] had been victims of consumer fraud.
The following year, the FBI shut down one telemarketing ring that had stolen more than $1 billion [!!], spanned seven countries and resulted in 565 arrests.