Resources for Scam Victims

The Federal Trade Commission’s 2022-2023 report to Congress on protecting older consumers reported that adults aged sixty and older lost $1.6 billion to scams in 2022. Scammers continually invent new ways to target people, a trend that artificial intelligence has only worsened. In California, scams can qualify as “financial abuse” when perpetrated against older or dependent adults. Other states call this “financial exploitation.”

You should take the following non-exhaustive steps when victimized by a scam:

  1. Report the scam to local law enforcement (i.e., the police or Sheriff and your County District Attorney), IC3, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”).
  2. For older and dependent adults, call Adult Protective Services.
  3. For scams involving a bank transaction, report the issue to the bank.
  4. For identity theft, file an Identity Theft Report at Monitor your credit report and request a credit freeze and fraud alert from the credit bureaus.
  5. For technology-related fraud, reset your computer, phone, tablet, or other device(s) as needed to clear them of viruses and fraudulent applications.
  6. For intra-family fraud, revoke any power of attorney or other document used to perpetrate the fraud, and consider seeking an elder abuse restraining order.
  7. Consult an attorney to see whether you can potentially recover your money in a civil lawsuit. We offer free legal advice to adults aged 60 and older as long as they live in San Diego or Imperial County. If this applies to you, feel free to Contact Us!

The following resources exist to help victims of scams get their lives back together and collect anonymous data to improve our response to scams more generally:

  1. Federal Trade Commission Resources.

  2. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Resources.

    • Submit a complaint about a financial product or service (e.g., wire transfer scam)

      • Submit via phone at (855) 411-2372, available Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 5 am to 5 pm PT.
      • The CFPB typically will not respond. However, reports encourage the financial institution to respond to consumers or face consequences, and the CFPB also maintains a complaint database for other consumers to look at.

    • Search the Consumer Complaint Database
    • Check out resources on fraud and scams

  3. Other Government Resources.

  4. Private Resources.



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