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The numbers are in, and they aren’t good. The Federal Trade Commission issued its data book on fraud reports for 2022. U.S. consumers reported $9 billion in fraud losses, compared with $6.1 billion the year prior. Because fraud often goes unreported, this report only shows the tip of the iceberg. Even so, it provides important insights into threats everyone should be aware of.
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Investment scams on the rise
- Reported losses from investment scams increased from $1.8 billion in 2021 to a total of $3.9 billion, with median losses reported at $5,000.
- Cryptocurrency played a big role in investment scams with reported losses at $1.4 billion.
- 74 percent of adults who reported experiencing an investment scam reported losses; this is significantly higher than losses from other fraud types.
Impostor scams still on top
- Once again, impostor scams were the top category of fraud in 2022, with reported losses exceeding $2.7 billion.
- The top reported contact method was email (76,000), but not far behind was a phone call (70,000).
- Fraud perpetrated by impersonating businesses topped government impostor reports in 2022.
Criminals know no bounds
- More than anything, the report shows that no one is immune to fraud.
- Adults younger than 30 made up 43 percent of all fraud reports.
- Older adults reported losing the most money. For victims in their 70s, the average loss was $1,000, and for those over 80, the average was $1,674.
- Criminals stole money no matter how they contacted their targets. Social media-based scams netted a reported $1.2 billion, more than any other contact method. Those who reported losing money to phone scams lost more, $1,400 on average.
As fraud criminals have access to increasingly sophisticated tactics, it is more important than ever to stay informed on the latest scam tactics and red flags. We’ll keep you informed here, and you can learn more at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.
Knowledge gives you power over scams. Please share this information with friends and family.