Elderly people are losing more than a million pounds a day due to a rise in online scams, according to new figures.
The figures, obtained from Action Fraud under the Freedom of Information Act, cover all fraud cases where the victim was 65 or older.
It revealed that £1.7bn has been lost by over-65s across the UK in the past four years – meaning that on average the age group is losing about £1.2m to fraud each day.
Since the beginning of 2019, more than 212,000 cases of fraud against pensioners were logged – with police forces recording crimes worth more than £65m in that same time period.
Financial losses were also at a new high in 2022, with pensioners losing nearly £460m, up 10 per cent from £417m in 2021.
The analysis shows that elderly people who are victims of fraud are on the rise, jumping from 36,105 recorded cases in 2019 up to a 57,430 cases in 2022, equating to more than 157 elderly fraud victims a day.
On average, each elderly victim has lost £8,314 – substantially higher than average trends of fraud against victims of all ages. According to the most recent ONS statistics, only 9 per cent of fraud victims overall incurred a loss of £1,000 or more.
The Liberal Democrats, who obtained the data, called on the Government to provide an urgent strategy to protect victims including the vulnerable and elderly from online scams
Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP, said: “Elderly people are facing a tidal wave of scams, as callous criminals target them for their hard-earned cash. Yet too often, the despicable fraudsters who target vulnerable pensioners are being let off the hook.
“The government is asleep at the wheel in the fight against fraud, and it’s our nation’s elderly who are paying the eye-watering price.
“Conservative ministers need to finally publish their long overdue strategy to tackle fraud, including measures to protect elderly and vulnerable victims from online scams.”
“With pensioners losing over £1m to fraud each day, the cost of delay is unacceptable.”