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Last week, we gave you an overview of the latest Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. Today, let’s look a bit more closely at the data from military consumers. We got more than 113,000 reports from military consumers in 2017. Although not all of them gave details about their military status, more than 28,000 are servicemembers, their family members, and inactive Reserve or National Guard, and more than 78,000 are military retirees or veterans. Here are a few interesting take-aways.

Identity theft and imposter scams were among the top reports for both the general population and the military community. Imposter scammers pretend to be someone you trust, to convince you to send them money or personal information. There are many variations on the scheme. People may pretend to be from the government or from a business with technical support expertise. Others lie about being your online love or say there’s an emergency with your family member. These kinds of scams cost military consumers more money than any other type of scam, with $25 million reported lost. Military median losses were $699. For other consumers, the median loss was $500.

We’re not sure why, but military folks reported median losses much greater than civilians did for other frauds, too. For instance, the median loss from the general population for all types of fraud was $429, but for military consumers, it was $619. That’s more than 44% higher. On the other hand, military consumers also told us they lost money in just 15% of the frauds they reported, versus 21% in the general population. That tells us that military consumers are doing a great job reporting consumer fraud to the FTC, even if they didn’t lose money to it. More reports yield more data, tell a more detailed story, and help law enforcement go after unlawful practices.

We want to hear about your experiences. If you spot a scam, tell the FTC – and you also will be telling more than 2,300 law enforcers who are members of the Consumer Sentinel Network.

11 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Debbie N
March 09, 2018
Have had that happen to me. Now I have people claiming to be from the Federal reserve handing out grants. From a bank in N. Y. Send by western union but need to pay 250 dollars a or more to receive it.
Mother of 5
May 13, 2018

In reply to by Debbie N

I had the exact thing to happen to me. I received that call, but it went no where. Then a guy who claim3d to be stuck in Nigeria and people he had worked with over time would send me the money and I was to send it to a n o gerian name because he was afraid to go past where he was working. Got one now who claims to be in military, wants to retire early but has to have a next to kin in.order to get out. Also have another one on Viber who claims to have people to buy gems from some one in Nigeria. Apparently thus one claims to be in Australia. The one who is getting others to buy gems claims to be in Europe working by the black sea.
dinazavuluno
March 09, 2018

i dont want to read problems for someone, i complain you 4 time i wrote about scam me 6 mounth i ask you to help me ,you send me emils for someone i dont care please if you dont help me dont send me emails

teemasaniai
March 09, 2018
Thank you so much for the warning about scammers out there. your integrity services is greatly appreciates in expediting scams, as well as finding them and arresting them for law violation. Thank you again, may God Bless CFPB for doing a great Job with Consumers vs CONSUMER FRAUDS Activity from the scammers.....semper-fi.
alicesherman
April 27, 2018

I had scammers you try to get a loan and you have pay up front money of $900 for a $8000 loan my block numbers device that came with my MetroPCS phone has alot of unwanted telephone numbers

Diaz one
March 28, 2018
I've been talkin to gentleman who says he's a general in the Army for about 60 days he's not asking for money but the sun's teachers asking to help pay for expenses the father story sounds convincing
Concerned Daughter
March 30, 2018
If the gentleman is really a General, this is public record. Take the name he's giving you and Google US Army Generals. You will see a list with pictures of current and retired Generals. I'm sure he's not a General. My mother was scammed by a similar story. When we searched him, he was not listed in the public records. He told my Mom he was "undercover" and that's why he didn't show up in the list, but that was also a lie. Please be careful and don't fall for this con.
1nani4
October 11, 2018

In reply to by Concerned Daughter

I have been taking to a General also on Instagram. He wants me to get a vanilla card claims his wallet was left behind when he departed. He's afraid his wife and she knows everything he does. , he is very despondent and threatening suicide so I don't know what to believe
Onguard
June 22, 2018
Looking for a man who claims to be a Sgt. Names Swan John Molton.no luck.Says he's stationed in Hama Syria. Said he told Commander he's in love with me and I must keep secret our "relationship" for security. I have known him just over 24 hours Please help me.
Eula
August 06, 2018
It's ցenuinely vey difficult in this active life to listen neas on TV,therefoгe Isimply use the web for that puгpose, and get the most recent news.
ApeyDon't use …
November 30, 2018
I'm not sure but I think my friend is being scammed big time. Her heart strings are attached. He's asked for money for a plane ticket home. How do I find out if he is really in the military (army)