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|Aged lose millions online
SCAMS involving internet auctions top the list of fraud complaints by older Americans, who lost $US152 million ($201 million) to con artists last year, US officials told a Senate panel.
Internet-based scams are growing and now account for about 41 per cent of fraud complaints the US Federal Trade Commission (US) receives from people over 50, of FTC consumer protection division's Lois Greisman told the Senate Committee on Aging.
"This figure is all the more dramatic when one considers that internet-related fraud represented only 33 per cent of all fraud complaints from this age group in 2002," she said.
Older consumers reported being defrauded of more than $US43 million last year through internet scams, with on-line auctions topping the complaint list, she said.
But more old-fashioned scams continue to take their toll. Lottery and sweepstakes frauds, in which victims are asked to pay "taxes" or other fees to claim prizes, cost older Americans $US35 million last year, Ms Greisman said. People over 70 were particular targets of that kind of scam, she said.
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