Study ranks Florida as most dangerous state for seniors citizens

Many of us think of the Sunshine State as a wonderful place to retire, but what about the most dangerous?

A new report by The Senior List looks at fraud, poverty and violent crimes targeting seniors, and Florida is the worst.

WINK News spoke to fraud expert Bret Hood, a retired FBI agent, about why older people are at risk in our state.

“There are so many people here with disposable income,” Hood said. “It’s the perfect opportunity for a financial predator.”

The study looked at factors like housing costs, percentage of people 65 and older living alone and fraud.

“For fraudsters, Florida is like shooting fish in a barrel,” Hood said.

Jack Wright, his wife and their dog move to Cape Coral about a year ago, and they believe the state to be a great place to retire.

“The weather is super nice. We come from Colorado. We got tired of the snow,” Wright said. “People are friendly. There’s a lot of people here our age.”

In fact, the US Census Bureau estimates roughly 21 million people live in Florida. Twenty percent of the population are 65 and older, which makes it a spot that fraudsters like to target.

In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission listed Florida as the No. 1 state for fraud — with more than 200,000 reports.

According to the report, the safest state for senior citizens is Iowa.

Still, Wright isn’t leaving Florida because of this report.

“I feel fine here, Wright said. “I don’t have a problem.”

Additionally, a study by SafeWise published last year listed Marco Island, Punta Gorda, Naples and Cape Coral among the 20 safest cities in the state.

 

Reporter:Brooke Shafer
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