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The top frauds of 2018

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Every year, millions of you tell us – and our partners – about the frauds you spotted. Last year, we heard from 3 million of you, and here’s some of what we learned from your reports:

  • We collected more than 1.4 million fraud reports, and people said they lost money to the fraud in 25% of those reports. People reported losing $1.48 billion (with a ‘b’) to fraud last year – an increase of 38% over 2017.
  • The top reports in 2018 were: imposter scams, debt collection, and identity theft.
  • Younger people reported losing money to fraud more often than older people. Let that sink in. It’s what the data have been telling us for a while, but it’s hard for people to grasp. Last year, of those people who reported fraud and their age, 43% of people in their 20s reported a loss to that fraud, while only 15% of people in their 70s did.
  • When people in their 70s did lose money, the amount tended to be higher: their median loss was $751, compared to $400 for people in their 20s.
  • Scammers like to get money by wire transfer – for a total of $423 million last year. That was the most of any payment method reported, but we also saw a surge of payments with gift and reload cards – a 95% increase in dollars paid to scammers last year.
  • Tax-related identity theft was down last year (by 38%), but credit card fraud on new accounts was up 24%. In fact, misusing someone’s information to open a new credit card account was reported more often than other forms of identity theft in 2018.
  • The top 3 states for fraud and other reports (per 100K population) are Florida, Georgia and Nevada. The top 3 states for identity theft reports (also per 100K) are Georgia, Nevada and California.

Check out what happened in your state. In fact, you can play around in the numbers yourself. And let us know in the comments if you find something interesting. Meanwhile, keep reporting to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. We use those reports to investigate and bring cases – and so do our thousands of law enforcement partners.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Isn't it possible that the reason more young people reported fraud is because older people are less likely to report? This makes it seems like young people are more likely to be victims but I think that's unlikely. Between only 1 in 14 and 1 in 23 elderly victims of abuse, neglect, and most importantly here financial exploitation ever report what's happening. I'd bet that younger people report significantly more. That would explain why it looks like younger people are victims more often.

Spot on.

This is great, and surprising info. Hope the national media picks it up

I wonder if the reason why older people aren't reporting it is that they are technically unable to do so, or embarassed by their inability to know they were scammed.

I think it's more being embarrassed to report rather than being unable to do so. Many older adults grew up in an age where people were more trusting as opposed to now.

I have received more than 40 phone calls that were SPOOFED from Verizon customers. On occasion that are also labeled SPAM.

This is one

I have received more than 40 phone calls that were SPOOFED from Verizon customers. On occasion that are also labeled SPAM.

When these types of criminals are caught, what is the punishment? Is that punishment made public? If the punishment was severe enough, and made public, it is my opinion the crime rates would go down. Make the punishments MUCH more severe, and public, for the benefit of all.

Women. BEWARE OF CHRISTIAN ON LINE DATING SITES NUMEROUS MALE SCAMMERS.

I think the difference is the younger generation uses their phones for everything, install a lot more riskier apps that can hi-jack their personal in from their banking apps and so on.

I believe it seems like "older" persons tend to not bother reporting various issues because there is a bigger gap in their use of computer responses. Younger persons tend to be more savvy on the computer and probably respond more often. No offense to "older" persons since my wife and I are in that category!

Thank you for keeping us informed.
I have been a subscriber to your web site for the last 2 years. The information you provide has not only helped protect my co-workers but also my family from falling prey to scams.

It helps to know that there are frauds out there in the first place. It makes you question everything -- a big advantage.

How many people have gone to jail for these fraud crimes?

There should be a way to track down IRS impersonators and send them to jail or fine them heavily. Isn't there a Scumbag Law?

I believe the percentage of older people who lose money to fraud is much higher and much less likely to be reported. I see this quite often working in the financial services field. Older folks tend to not want to admit they fell for a scam. Secondly, especially if they lost money, they do not want their spouse or kids to know. Some just feel ashamed while others fear the kids or spouse will start monitoring their every purchase.

When is the Government going to stop the telemarketrs , scam calls and abuse calls from spoofed and fake phone numbers??????
These people never follow rules and pound the hell out of the phone lines Land lines and cell numbers. JUST MAKE THEM Stop.

As a 67-year-old female, I must admit to notifying the authorities of over 24 spoofed, scam, and whatever else might be out there. And that's to both the Feds and the state. Remember that we baby boomers grew up with computers also, and are getting into that 70's age group. I do think, though, that seniors are less inclined to report these issues because they are embarrassed that they were taken. Interesting, though, about the monetary differences between the old and the young.

Linked site, 'public-tableau', portrays some 444,000 (est.) identity thefts reported. Roughly 127 per 100,000 in US reported. For each 787 citizens, one identity theft report.

I would love to see a report of the common elements across this frequency.

How many were the result of 'data breaches', phishing scams, wifi snoops or direct access to confidential files.

Can the 'loopholes' of vulnerability be better understood in sifting the data or conviction details. How many are convicted of these crimes, how many pay restitution, how many are 'domestic' vs. foreign based and/or how many in US are jailed?
Thanks!

I just rec'd a check from Apple Inc drawn on Bank of America N.A. for $2,657. With a letter outlining how to use it to get Ebay gift cards. I am sure it is a scam but am unsure how it is one.

The check is almost definitely fake. The idea is to get you to cash the check and then use the "money" to purchase gift cards. The scammers will ask for the information on the gift cards so they can use them. A few days later the bank will realize the check is fake, and you'll lose the money from the check and the money you spent on the gift cards.

The check seems to be good butt, it won't clear and you will have already paid for the gift cards. We have been scammed several times but, that one was new to us. We took it to our bank to see if they were aware of a scam similar. The teller wasn't sure but the manager and assistant manager both were and collected the check and the letter to turn in.

They will prob ask that you send them the gift cards, keeping a small fee for yourself. But the check will come back unpaid, and be charged back against your bank account. You would lose the entire amount. This is a common scam...

keep up the good work and thank you

Tonight I received an email supposedly from AARP wanted me to address with them on drug control costs and supposedly to get the drug cost down.I clicked on a concent sign that showed me a place to put my first and last name , my address, and zip code .Then saw another page showing a table to give them a DONATION plus showed where to put bank act. info, and amt giving all the way up to $100.00 even a place to give paypal info if need to do it that way.I saw all that then deleted all I did I did not give money or any bank info and deleted the email but I have a deleted copy in archive if you want it.

I really appreciate being kept in the loop about the different scammers~~

Septuagenarians tend to be more cynical about getting anything back for their efforts. Too many times, the have been discouraged by poor general service over the phone, no nices of case status, and relatively low financial settlements without legal assistance, which they can't afford. I have a lot of friends who just gave up.

dears.
i do get those nutty phone calls about an amputee of all four limbs who needs money,a day after another phone call of his he got a million dollar but needs another mill,,,of course,a normal human being with a trace of normalcy wont send a penny to such a scammer.

We use an inexpensive telephone/answering machine and it is on all the time. 90% of callers hang up as soon as the machine kicks in. The couple that leave messages (scammers ('IRS') or telemarketers ('You've got great credit')) I report to the proper authorities. A $50 telephone/answering machine is a lot cheaper than losing thousands of dollars to scammers.

Often those 70+ are warned and often by their children (40-50). Chances are the 20-yr-olds ignore the warnings. Not saying all 70's report the scam but I think the above is another reason the stats are the way they are. In other words, all age groups need to be reached.

I don't see a list of the frauds here. Do Not Call List a Joke, I think this is where they get the numbers to call!

To read the full report, go to the beginning of this blog post and click on the words that are highlighted in blue. You will be connected the the full report and can read a list of the top frauds.

Some good news for the good guys! Today the State of Texas filed suit against two scammers that operated in Texas and sent over 11 million dollars back to their home country that they had collected in computer scams. Posing as Microsoft or other reputable companies and scaring people into unneeded virus and hacker software and pressuring people into unneeded computer repairs and computer service plans.

I keep getting multiple calls from people asking me to call them to make arrangements to pay off my student loans and I do not have any. They won't quit calling. I blocked their numbers but they just keep calling from new numbers next time. How do I get them to stop. I know I have nothing to worry about...I keep a very tight eye on my credit reports and nothing is on their I don't know about. Help!

Speaking as a 72 year old, you've already been scammed a few times in your earlier years and hopefully learned from those incidents. You tend to recognize that there's nothing free in life and if it it is, you better watch for the lie or the trick!

I am a 57 year old single woman. I have been single for over 10 years and often during that time would attempt to find my soulmate on dating sites. I must have some sort of invisible spot on my forehead that says, she's a softy or something. The last site i was on, i reported EVERY SINGLE MAN who reached out to me, as a scammer....I know we worn women, but listen here ladies, they are now even better at their sweet talk because of scamming being so prevalent!!! DON'T EVER SEND ANY MONEY TO ANYONE YOU MEET ON ONE OF THOSE SITES!!! About 5 years ago, i went to dinner with a very nice man from a site. Of course, as soon as we were about to make our second meeting, he suddenly got called across the US for contract negotiations, then when he was awarded the contract they demanded he leave immediately, without being allowed to get his affairs in order, for the next 2 1/2 YEARS LADIES.... THIS MAN SCAMMED ME OUT OF OVER $25,000!!!!! I JUST HAD TO SIGN THE PAPERS TO SELL MY HOME TO KEEP FROM BEING FORECLOSED UPON AS A RESULT OF BELIEVING HIS SWEET "NOTHINGS"!!!! THAT'S WHAT IT IS.... NOTHING! I'VE SUFFERED A HEART ATTACK, A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, HAD TO STOP WORKING AND NOW I'M LOSING MY HOME!!!! PLEASE LISTEN... NOT ONE DIME.... DON'T SEND EVEN A PENNY!!! YOU TOO MAY LOSE IT ALL AND BE WRITING SOMETHING LIKE THIS!!
Debby

I too am 57 yo, looking for my soulmate to spend the rest of my life with. I thought I found him on mate 1 .com. I thought I found him when i read his profile stated he was looking for a woman to make his house a home . Henry Olsen Crowford connected with me immediately and we started talking on the phone. Born in Denmark with a beautiful accent now living in Los Angles California. Claimed to be leaving for Manchester England for 3 months for work. Claims to manage and restructure highrise buildings in Europ Asia and Austraila He claimed he was dealing with paying back taxes in Denmark and all of a sudden his bank account and credit card were not accessable . His business lawyer told him he was needed in Denmark to take care of tax issue .this is were I first mistake sending him $3000.00 From here he professed his gratitude he will pay me back and we were falling in love .I havw many selfie pics ,phone numbers ,addresses, bank account ., I cant find anything on him.... for 3 months he brainwashed me into a love affair hooked me up until he was 15 hours away from getting on a jet to come to meet me .the cruelest part he had me rent a hotel room amd wait for him at the airport to pick him up I was crushed when he did not show up. I cry every day now for a month not for the money but for the love of a man I never got to meet and 15 hours away . Today I'm going to the police for guidance and want to tell my story to protect others. This was so elaborate and cruel . What kind of person can live with themselves doing this to others?. Do they realize the pain they cause?

I recently joined an on line dating site and want to know how I may have been scammed. This very lovely man built a relationship with me vi a email and phone over a months time. We could not meet personally because I was wintering in Florida and he was working on s project in LA for three weeks. O ne afternoon he called in a panic asking me for a favor. His laptop was at his hotel room an hour away and he needed to wire money for an airplane part needed the next day before the end of the day. He supplied the user name and password of his own supposedly personal account (which looks like it was a Swiss Bank) and the routing number and IBAN number to transfer $55,000 to an airplane parts manufacturer in CA called Intarsia. LLC through Wells Fargo Bank. WHen his account opened I saw he had almost $2 million in there and quickly trNsferred $55,000 at his request. I thought it all strange but he made it sound like such an emergency I went ahead and made the transaction for him on my iPad. He never asked me for money, he never asked me for any of my personal banking info, etc. I decided to investigate his validity a little closer and guess what? He was invisible on the internet. I realized then that he was probably setting me up for something so Itook the precaution of changing my password s and alerting my bank to any strange activity. My fear was that he could somehow access my computer through the log in info he gave me for his own account. Does anyone have a similar experience? I found that his phone had been obtained through a company called Bandwidth which supplies phone numbers anonymously to telemarketers and the like and are untraceable. I don’t know what just happened but I have now blocked his number. Can anyone share a similar experience and what might be the intention here? Thanks!

Has anyone else been contacted by Investment Recovery Service? Howe about World Traders Recovery? They're both run by the same two meat heads!

why if there is so many fraud cases police, authorities ,etc,etc. can't do noting about this big problem in this million of all cain of fraud actions there is not a suspect of this crimes?there is not pictures of individuals /? why police does no thing when a person report a fraud. instead they treat you like you are the idiot who give the money to the Criminal. yea this is the name
for this `ents``
I hope same budy can make the diferentia
thank you

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