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Americans report losing over $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021

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The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said today that Americans reported losses of more than $5.8 billion to fraud during last year, a massive total increase of over 70% compared to the losses reported in 2020.

The FTC added a total of roughly 5.7 million consumer reports to its Consumer Sentinel Network (Sentinel) secure online database in 2021.

Out of these, US consumers filed 2,789,161 fraud reports during 2021, 25% of them indicating a monetary loss and informing the consumer protection agency that they lost a total of $5,893,260,382 to fraud schemes.

“Of the losses reported by consumers, more than $2.3 billion of losses reported last year were due to imposter scams—up from $1.2 billion in 2020, while online shopping accounted for about $392 million in reported losses from consumers—up from $246 million in 2020,” the FTC said.

The FTC also received nearly 1.4 million reports of identity theft in 2021, representing a quarter of all reports filed last year.

Number of reports by type
Number of reports by type (FTC)

The FTC said that young consumers (aged 20 to 29) have reported losing money to fraud a lot more often than older people (ages 80 and over).

However, “while younger people lost money 41 percent of the time they experienced fraud, older adults lost money only 17 percent of the time,” according to FTC’s data.

“But when older people did lose money, they lost a median amount of $1,500, or three times the median amount younger people lost.”

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You can report fraud attempts at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and file an identity theft report at IdentityTheft.gov.

Once included in the Consumer Sentinel Network network, your report will be available to more than 3,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across the US.

Filed reports are helpful when investigating fraud, scams, and bad business practices, as well as for discovering trends and educating the public.

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