Bismarck Police are warning the community about a new scam that recently cost a Bismarck woman $19,000, Monday.

The 77-year old woman was tricked into giving her bank account information over the phone, Officer Lynn Wanner told The Bismarck Tribune. The scammer was a caller who went by Victor and claimed to be a business owner calling from Wyoming. The caller told the woman his company was going out of business and wished to refund services she had previously purchased. The woman then gave him her bank account and routing number.

Her bank notified her later that same day of the money that had be withdraw from her account.

The woman was unfortunately another victim in a growing trend of fraud committed against the elderly. The FBI identifies senior citizens as the most heavily targeted victims in fraud for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, senior citizens — after a lifetime of working and saving — are the most likely to have good credit and a "nest egg," which makes them attractive to fraudsters and thieves. The FBI also notes that the elderly are less likely to report a fraud because they either don't know who to report it to, feel shame for having been tricked by a scam, or don't realize they were scammed in the first place. Many elderly also fear telling their relatives out of fear they will be deemed no longer mentally capable of handling their own affairs.

Last year, Bloomberg reported America's elderly are losing $37 billion a year through scams.


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