FTC sees annual fraud figure jump by more than 30%
Newly released Federal Trade Commission data showed that consumers reported losing nearly $8.8 billion to fraud in 2022, an increase of more than 30% year-over-year.
The FTC said 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 figure reported to be lost in 2021.
Officials 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 said it received fraud reports from 2.4 million consumers last year, with the most commonly reported being imposter scams, followed by online shopping scams.
Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; investment related reports; and business and job opportunities rounded out the top five fraud categories, according to an FTC news release.
The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network is a database that receives reports directly from consumers, as well as from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau, industry members, and non-profit organizations.
Officials said 23 states contribute data to Sentinel.
The Sentinel received more than 5.1 million reports in 2022. These include the fraud reports previously mentioned, as well as identity theft reports and complaints related to other consumer issues, such as problems with credit bureaus and banks and lenders.
In 2022, there were more than 1.1 million reports of identity theft received through the FTC’s IdentityTheft.gov website.
The FTC uses the reports it receives through the Sentinel network as the starting point for many of its law enforcement investigations, and the agency also shares these reports with approximately 2,800 federal, state, local, and international law enforcement professionals.
“While the FTC does not intervene in individual complaints, Sentinel reports are a vital part of the agency’s law enforcement mission,” officials said.