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Impostor Scams Top List of 10 Biggest Frauds

FTC releases data on 2017; total reports fell but amount lost rose to $905 million

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Some 348,000 people reported about impostors, with 19 percent saying they suffered a financial loss.

En español | Impostor scams were again the top fraud in 2017, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which has detailed the 2.7 million complaints the agency received from consumers last year.

Although the total number of complaints decreased from nearly 3 million in 2016, consumers reported losing $905 million, an increase of $63 million from 2016.

In terms of age, younger people were fleeced more often but, when successfully scammed, older people lost more money.

Among those ages 20 to 29, 40 percent reported losing money to fraud; the rate for those 70 and above was 18 percent. But when the thieves were successful, the typical amount of loss depended greatly on one’s age. The older you were, the more you lost.

For those 20-29, the median loss was $400. The comparable figures were $621 for those 70 to 79 and $1,092 for those 80 and above.

Some 348,000 people reported about impostors, with 19 percent saying they suffered a financial loss. After impostors, the top categories in order of number of reports were phone and mobile services (150,000); prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries (143,000); shop-at-home and catalog sales (126,000); internet services (45,000); foreign money offers and counterfeit checks (32,000); travel, vacation and time-shares (22,000); business and job opportunities (19,000); advance payments for credit (18,000); and health care (10,000).

The top states per capita for fraud reports were Florida, Georgia and Nevada.

You can find out the FTC’s fraud report in detail at its website.

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