There are always two sides of the same coin. Social media has made it possible for everyone to stay more connected over the years and across the miles. It’s reconnected old friends and kept families close. Unfortunately, it’s also given scammers the ability to become more sophisticated and creative.
Every year, Hawai‘i residents are swindled out of money through many forms of crime. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 2.4 billion robocalls made every month. Over 3,500,000 older adults are swindled out of nearly $5 billion in personal savings each year. The average loss is $34,200-plus for every senior who falls victim to a scam. More than $17 million per year are lost to internet crimes (2021) — and cases are expected to rise by 10 percent this year.
In a sympathy scam, a con artist plays on the victims’ emotions in order to extract money from them. Typically, you see a lot of these scams stemming from a tragedy that is highly publicized.