The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed today that Americans lost almost $8.8 billion to various types of scams in 2022, following a significant surge of over 30% more lost to fraud compared to the previous year.
In 2021, Americans also reported losses of more than $5.8 billion to fraud, another massive increase of over 70% compared to 2020.
The FTC said on Thursday that 2.4 million consumers have reported losing money to scammers, most of them falling victim to imposter scams and online shopping scams throughout the last year.
The top five fraud categories also include scam reports involving prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries, investments, and business and job opportunities.
“Consumers reported losing more money to investment scams—more than $3.8 billion—than any other category in 2022. That amount more than doubles the amount reported lost in 2021,” the FTC said.
“The second highest reported loss amount came from imposter scams, with losses of $2.6 billion reported, up from $2.4 billion in 2021.”
The FTC added 5.1 million consumer reports to its Consumer Sentinel Network (Sentinel) secure online database in 2022, with over 1.1 million reports of identity theft filed through the FTC’s IdentityTheft.gov website.
The consumer protection agency also revealed last month that nearly 70,000 people had reported record losses of $1.3 billion to romance scams in 2022.
Unfortunately, these stats likely reflect just a fraction of the actual harm inflicted by romance scammers, given that most frauds are never reported.
You can report fraud attempts at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and file an identity theft report at IdentityTheft.gov.
Once included in the Sentinel database, your report will be available to roughly 2,800 federal, state, local, and international law enforcement professionals.
Each report can help investigators find the fraudsters and make it easier to discover trends and educate the public.