Episode 84: Cyber Fraud: Protecting Your Assets In A Fast And Growing $9 Billion Industry with Kathy Stokes

Today we have an incredibly timely and educational show lined up for you with Kathy Stokes, the director of fraud prevention programs at AARP. Our conversation unfolds with a personal touch as I share a recent experience where my digital wallet was hacked.

Kathy offers a powerhouse of insights, stressing the importance of reporting such incidents to potentially recover stolen funds through blockchain tracing and tying together cases against transnational criminal enterprises.

We talk about the emotional impact of being scammed, the technical sophistication of these fraudulent scripts, and the general population’s lack of confidence in law enforcement’s current ability to tackle these evolving crimes.

She emphasizes on the necessity of better training in organizations to combat phishing and social engineering, laying out the three key factors scammers exploit: unexpected communication, emotional manipulation, and urgency.

Kathy isn’t shy about diving into how transnational criminal enterprises might be behind this massive-scale fraud, revealing her passion for social change sparked by a shift from educating workers on retirement benefits to fraud prevention for retirees.

Tune in as we navigate the real implications of falling prey to scams and why awareness is the best defense.

In this episode, we’ll cover:

  • The rise in reported losses due to fraud, especially during the pandemic
  • The necessity of educating young adults, parents, and retirees on fraud prevention
  • The association of large-scale fraud with transnational criminal enterprises
  • The role of emotional manipulation in successful fraud schemes
  • The psychological tactics exploited by scammers
  • Impact of fraud on mental health and the extreme distress leading to suicide
  • AARP’s commitment to providing support for victims of fraud and financial crimes

Links and resources mentioned during this episode:


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