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American consumers lost $5.8 billion in fraud in 2021, imposter scams and online shopping scams are the most commonly reported categories

Scammers increasingly relied on public panic and misinformation in the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a rise in fraud. They sold false healthcare items (including sanitizers and face masks) and used hacked information to claim for jobless as well as other services to steal some money.

According to the FTC, in 2021, identity fraud was the most common one being responsible for more than 1/3 of cases among all reports. The average customer suffered a loss of $1,000.

According to FTC, nearly 2.8 million consumers reported scams to the bureau in 2021, the largest amount since 2001, "with the most commonly reported category once again being imposter scams, followed by online shopping scams". Around 25% of the frauds ended in monetary harm, with the average victim losing $500.

"Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; internet services; and business and job opportunities rounded out the top five fraud categories."

Because numerous cases were probably not registered to the agency, the actual number of crimes is sure bigger.



These statistics exclude charges of identity fraud as well as other types. Last year over 1.4 million American citizens complained of being victims of identity theft. Another 1.5 million submitted complaints under various categories like credit reporting firms failing to check disputed data or loan collectors representing the wrong amount or state of debt.

And per the FTC, both statistics are yearly results.

The FTC reports that these also involve relationship frauds or individuals impersonating to be government officials, a family member in difficulty, a famous firm, or a tech help specialist. Lawbreakers fake others in such frauds to obtain cash or private details.

Usually, young people are more likely subjected to scams but lots of people over the age of 70 recorded losing more cash. The average adult above 80 years lost $1,500 which is thrice the amount lost by those in their twenties.

Certain cases of theft were more expensive per person like finance forgery cost $3,000 per victim in 2021, the highest figure recorded. Scammers involving the corporation and career prospects cost approximately consumer over $2,000 in total.

The database, which is made available to law enforcement to carry out investigations and spot fraud trends, also includes reports from other federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies, along with organizations like the Better Business Bureau and Publishers Clearing House.

Most of those FTC's crime investigations begin from information submitted by Sentinel, and the commission also distributes such findings with roughly 2,800 governmental, regional, municipal, and foreign law enforcement. While the Federal Trade Commission does not engage in judicial action, Sentinel investigations are an important component of the firm's law policing role.


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