Scam Risk Study: Seniors Get Four Times as Many Unwanted Calls as Younger Folks

Seniors older than 64 years of age receive four times as many unwanted landline calls than younger people, leaving them at greater risk of scams, according to a report from, a provider of software that filters incoming calls.

The Landline Study on Seniors found that seniors receive about 200 unwanted calls per week, compared to 50 for non-seniors. The firm said that almost $5 billion was stolen via landline fraud last year, much of it from the older demographic.

“Somehow, or some way, the bad guys have figured out who is vulnerable, and then shamelessly assault them over the landline,” said in a press release.

Other findings from the report about seniors’ scam risk:

  • Seniors receive an average of 14 wanted calls a week, while a typical landline only gets six or seven wanted calls.
  • Call blocking only stops 5% of unwanted calls both to seniors and to the general population. Manipulating fake Caller ID information is a “best practice” for bad actors.
  • Bad actors calling seniors hide their Caller ID information more frequently than when they call a typical landline. For the average landline, 6.5% of the calls do not have Caller ID information. For a senior’s landline, 9.5% of the calls do not have Caller ID information.

In February, YouMail said that despite apparently aggressive moves by the FCC, the number of robocalls remains constant and huge. The firm said that in January of this year, consumers received about 4.5 billion robocalls, which was about midway between the 4.2 billion and 4.7 billion that had been received since August 2022.

The firm tracks four types of calls, not all of which are bad or unwanted. In January, scams totaled .66 billion (an increase of 15% compared to December and flat in terms of its percentage of the total for the month). Notifications accounted for about 1.52 billion (+4%, -1%). Payment reminders totaled 1.1 billion (+4%, -1%). Telemarketing calls totaled 1.24 billion (+9%, +2%).

In December, the FCC opened an online portal that enables private entities – such as businesses or hospitals – to alert staff of suspicious robocalls, robotext, and spoofing campaigns

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