Crime Severity Rises in Florida for the Fourth Year in a Row. 

Florida, known for its sunny beaches and vibrant culture, is grappling with a concerning trend: a rise in crime severity. According to a newly released FBI report, the state has ranked second in the country for elder fraud for at least the fourth consecutive year. Let’s delve into the details and explore the implications of this troubling development.

Elder Fraud: A Growing Concern

Florida’s elderly population has been disproportionately affected by fraudulent schemes. In 2023 alone, residents over the age of 60 lost nearly $300 million due to scams. These crimes prey on vulnerable individuals, often targeting them through phone calls or online communication. The perpetrators promise lottery winnings, sweepstakes prizes, or other windfalls, but victims end up losing substantial sums of money.

The Tactics

Two prevalent scams are romance scams and lottery scams. In romance scams, fraudsters build emotional connections with victims, leading them to believe they are in a genuine relationship. Once trust is established, the scammers manipulate victims into sending money. Lottery scams, on the other hand, promise large cash prizes but require victims to pay fees upfront. These tactics exploit the elderly, leaving them financially devastated.

Underreporting and Stigma

Unfortunately, many victims hesitate to report these crimes. Embarrassment, fear of family judgment, and concerns about mental capacity often prevent elderly individuals from seeking help. Experts estimate that only a fifth of scams are actually reported. Even the FBI’s data may not fully capture the extent of the problem because victim ages are known in only about half of the complaints received.

The Broader Context

Florida’s crime severity isn’t limited to elder fraud. Violent crime trends have also been a cause for concern. While the FBI’s data shows an overall increase in property crime from 2021 to 2022, the Justice Department’s crime victimization survey reveals similar trends. Factors such as motor vehicle theft and inflation may contribute to these shifts.


As Florida faces the challenge of rising crime severity, it’s crucial to raise awareness, encourage reporting, and provide support for victims. Community education, law enforcement efforts, and targeted assistance programs can help combat these crimes. Let us work together to protect our elderly citizens and ensure a safer future for all Floridians.

Remember, vigilance and awareness are our best weapons against fraud and crime. If you suspect any fraudulent activity, report it promptly to the authorities. Together, we can make a difference.

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