New data from the US Federal Trade Commission (opens in a new tab) (FTC) has revealed the astounding scale of fraud across America that cost billions in losses last year.
In 2022, the FTC reported losses of $8.8 billion due to fraud, an increase of more than 30% over the previous year.
The report provides insights into the most common types of fraud to help protect consumers. Despite fewer fraud reports last year compared to 2021, financial losses have increased significantly.
Fraud is becoming more common
The most common type of scam reported last year was scam scams, which involve malicious people pretending to be someone they are not to extort money from unsuspecting vulnerable consumers.
Other popular scams with 2.4 million reported cases involved online shopping; prizes, sweepstakes and sweepstakes; investments; and business and career opportunities.
The most striking type in terms of financial losses have been investment scams, which probably owe their success in part to the difficult economic situation that has left many people trying to make more money. Losses amounted to $3.8 billion from less than half in 2021 ($1.8 billion), meaning the growing type of fraud accounted for more than 43% of losses last year.
In addition to scams, the Consumer Sentinel Network FTC received more than 5.1 million reports last year, including scams, identity theft reports and other consumer issues.
Data is entered into Sentinel by consumers; federal, state and local law enforcement; Better Business Office; industry members; and non-profit organizations from 23 U.S. states, suggesting that across the U.S. the number could again double.
The FTC advises consumers to remain vigilant and, if necessary, strengthen their protections. It also calls on victims to report activities ReportFraud.ftc.gov (opens in a new tab)which can help inform the Commission of future trends for appropriate adjustments.