WHAT are scammers up to these days? Every day, people just like you tell the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) what they’ve spotted, and maybe even lost money to. Then, every year, the FTC rolls up all those millions of reports about fraud, scams, and bad business practices to tell the story: what ARE scammers up to these days?
The 2022 headline is this: scammers took a LOT of money. The latest FTC data book says people reported losing $8.8 billion to scams. That’s $2.6 billion more than 2021. Except the number of reports are down by half a million (2022: 2.4 million reports. 2021: 2.9 million reports).
Here are some highlights from 2022:
- Investment scams were huge, with reported losses of $3.8 billion. That’s more than people lost to any other scam, and more than double the loss reported in 2021.
- Impersonator scams were still the most-reported scam, with reported losses of $2.6 billion. The difference this year? Higher losses to business imposters: 2022 losses were $660 million, compared to $453 million in 2021.
- If people paid a scammer, the biggest reported losses were through bank transfers ($1.5 billion reported lost to scams) and cryptocurrency ($1.4 billion reported lost).
- When the scam started on social media, people reported losing the most money overall to scammers ($1.2 billion). But when the scammer called, the per-person loss was the highest ($1,400 median loss).
- Younger adults (ages 20-29) reported losing money more often than older adults (ages 70-79). But when older adults did lose money, they lost more than anyone else.
Check out the graphic for the Top 5 Scams of 2022, and read the FTC’s data book for all the details — including what happened in your state.
Do you think you lost money to a scam? Find out what to do next. And if you spot a scam, report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
(Andrew Rayo/Consumer Education Specialist, FTC)