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Every day, people across the country are telling the FTC what happened to them. Maybe they lost money to a scam, lost their identity, or just spotted something that looked fishy and wanted somebody to know. All of that information helps FTC and other law enforcement agencies investigate and bring cases against scammers. And, every year, we roll up all that data and give it back to you in an annual data book. Now, though, you don’t have to wait a year to find out what’s happening.

Starting today, the FTC is making that Consumer Sentinel data available to you every quarter. If you visit ftc.gov/data, you’ll find an interactive online tool that lets you find things like:

  • What scams are people reporting in your state, and how much money are people losing?
  • What are the top states reporting, say, prizes and sweepstakes fraud? Or other frauds?
  • What’s changed over time, from 2014 to now?
  • What are military consumers reporting?
  • How much money have older or younger people reported losing to fraud?
  • How are identity thieves misusing people’s information?

This new quarterly resource might especially interest you if you’re an academic, into research, in the media, or just really interested in consumer protection – or what’s happening with scams near you. Knowing about scams helps you avoid them, so play with the data, download it you want to do more analysis, and print it if you want to share it.

We’ll also be releasing periodic Data Spotlights on trends or hot topics we’ve spotted in the data – like the one released earlier today. If you spot something in the data that you find interesting, please leave it in the comments.

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82 Comments

DNCmkh9 (not verified)
October 16, 2018
I got a call from a number that was local (same neighborhood). The person left a message that said "do not call me" . I called her back and I said that I am the person you just called. I didn't call you. She said a scammer is using my phone number to make calls about lowering a loan or lowering credit etc. The message said if you do not want is to call you press 3. She did and then they are now using my phone number. How do I get my number from not being used in this scam? who should I call. Thank you.
CK22 (not verified)
October 24, 2018

In reply to by DNCmkh9 (not verified)

The same is happening to me!! For the last few months. Same area code same prefix. I try to block them when I c the same prefix as mine. But I too don’t know who to repair to.
Mama 6 (not verified)
August 10, 2020

In reply to by CK22 (not verified)

I have received 22 spam calls in the last 3 days? Why??? Why are “robo” calls allowed? I can send the numbers but it will likely not do any good. I am about to eliminate my home phone even though, it is easier for me to use than my cell phone.
fitball (not verified)
October 17, 2018
What seems like an organized panhandler group solicits on street corners around Tysons, VA and other close-by areas.
Al (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Thanks.
FLChelle (not verified)
October 17, 2018
The worst part of these scams is that the useless Do Not Call List will not allow us to block many calls they consider ‘allowable’ ... like political and charities ... and to report sales pitches, etc is so much trouble, too involved a process - and most scammers can hide their ID and mimic a face number ... anyone without Caller ID will not see that non-info!!! I get over 30 calls per month, I pay for Caller ID and invested $100 in a Callblocker ... and all the scammers do is keep changing numbers and using local area calls. And not everyone has Caller ID so they answer the phone whenever it rings. I’m 78 and a target for those who want to scam the elderly. This is not right and goes against the process to eliminate at least some of these calls. Many people don’t know what’s going on, esp those that don’t have acccess online to learn what’s out there. I even get email scams, some do go to my Junk Boxes - and they’re totally outrageous. I use my credit cards online, they’re continually getting hacked and the card companies are at least catching the fraud charges immediately. The government needs to establish as good a way to stop scammers of all kinds. And it should do something better with the Do No Call List - where is it a constitutional right for politicians and and charities to be allowed to invade the privacy of all of us? And many political and charity calls are made by people from their homes, working for their party or charity, so if one does have Caller ID it looks like it might be from someone we know, or just a wrong number. Where is our right to privacy and why does the rights of politicians and charities supersede the rights of the rest of us?
marketplacebank (not verified)
October 17, 2018

In reply to by FLChelle (not verified)

You have caller ID-Great! Now get an answering machine. When the phone rings, look at the name/number. If you don't recognize one or both let the machine get it. We did that for years and never talked to a scammer. Good luck!
BJR (not verified)
November 29, 2018

In reply to by marketplacebank (not verified)

why should we have to do this. what if a medical office calls from a number you don't remember!
Reggie (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Getting "invalid number" on my caller ID.
bigbadbob (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Good stuff!
KaJo (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Utility Scam is Alive and Well: On 9/4/2018 a ‘service representative’ from TECO called our office notifying me that we (Element) are scheduled for disconnection due to non-payment. She wanted to give me a number to call and settle. Me: “Thanks but I’ll call the number on our TECO bill to confirm.” Her “Okay, good luck.” Two red flags were flying during this call: 1) I knew our bills had been paid and 2) she me to call another number to pay. I did call TECO to report the incident and was informed that the CSRs are receiving, on average, four calls per day regarding this scam. As with the IRS, TECO will never call to collect funds nor will they just show up at your door.
ms single (not verified)
October 17, 2018

In reply to by KaJo (not verified)

This is getting out of hand! So now they’re calling companies and running scams?
jrudi89 (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Scam alert would be great!
FinleyDon't us… (not verified)
October 17, 2018
This FTC effort is a wonderful idea. One year ago this past June, we were victims of a ruse burglary. These cons are very good at what they do.
nac217cole (not verified)
October 17, 2018
The phone system is so bad, especially for us elderly. People pretend to be the IRS, a bill collector etc. I have caught onto that!!! I let ALL calls go to the voice, most will hang up! But when a local call comes in, it goes to voice, no one there, I call the # and the scammer has used a local #, and that person who owns the # will say they did it again, and it was not me!!! Elderly need to be alerts, the world needs more people who realize what is up and stop answering the phone, let it go to the voice and then call their friends back!!! I tell all who call me to do this!!!!! Caller ID and voice are all in the service, it is your bill you pay, USE THEM!!!!! Also, I hang up on those who try to get something from me, and block their #!
Etech (not verified)
October 17, 2018

In reply to by nac217cole (not verified)

This all started when the phone company started using computers for calls. We need to go back to electromagnetic relays. Let the crooks try and hack that.
Consumer Watchdog1 (not verified)
October 20, 2018

In reply to by Etech (not verified)

I agree. The phone companies will not change their technology, but they should be held accountable for allowing scammers to commit acts of fraud. Using the "VOXXXXX" number that appears on Caller ID as the name in some scam calls, I've found locations and the name of the phone company providing the service. The FTC should consider a ban on the sale of "spoofing" equipment, readily available from online sellers and impose heavy fines on service providers who allow these scammers to operate and profit from the fraudulent activity.
Jeremiah (not verified)
October 17, 2018
thank you for providing even more personal data .. my interest is consumer protection only, however, as a retiree with family all over the country, I am also a ‘watchdog’ for my family members. Again, thank you your services.
mickey (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I'm very interested in this information and I'm very happy you are making bit available to us. Thank you!
flusmc (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I had nine charges to my credit card totaling over $ 1,000. The good news is the fraud division was able to recover all the money
Simpi (not verified)
October 17, 2018

In reply to by flusmc (not verified)

I want to know that if someone lost their money during online home based job fraud then will someone get the money back after providing the number and payment proof. Please reply if you can because i lost 11900 during home based job and they are not responding .
FTC Staff
October 19, 2018

In reply to by Simpi (not verified)

If you lose money to a fraud, you can report the problem to law enforcement, but you can't always get your money back.

You can report to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that law enforcement agencies across the country use for investigations and to bring cases.

You can report to the Attorney General that protects people in your state. Look for your Attorney General's office information online.

If you found the ad for the work at home company on a website, you can make a complaint to the website. If you sent payment through a wire transfer, tell the wire transfer company. Call the Western Union Fraud Hotline at 800-448-1492 or the MoneyGram Customer Care Center at 1-800-926-9400. 

Robo Pop (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Excellent report. I have distributed this to my whole company. Thank you for providing this!
NanaLin47 (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Lately I have received calls from local or LA numbers in Chinese—or a language that sounds Chinese. No idea what they are saying. My husband and son have received them also. Annoying
SCM AWAR (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I don't answer or don't speak..
addienme (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I get calls that came in with “Scame Caller” I block the number but they keep coming. They also use scam calls from my area code which I block out but they somehow get through anyway.
Sickofthis (not verified)
October 22, 2018

In reply to by addienme (not verified)

I also block unknown calls, but it doesn't matter they just call back on a different phone number, blocking calls are a joke. I get more scam calls than real ones.
KathyH (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Thank you! I am very grateful for this FTC information. As another commenter says, seniors are especially targeted by phone scammers. Apparently they think we are less intelligent or less informed than younger folks. Not so! I never answer my land line phone any more. Fundraisers of all kinds call several times a day. It's so irksome! Legitimate callers do occasionally leave a message, or I identify them by checking the caller ID. Friends and family leave a message. (I have told them I don't answer the phone anymore.) One type of annoying scam-type call I get a lot is the one that says, "We have discovered that you are eligible for a lower interest rate on your...." (car loan, etc.). If I do happen to answer these, I tell them, STOP CALLING! But it doesn't help; they keep calling anyway. I only answer a CELL PHONE call if I know who it is. These days the phone can be an annoying burden instead of helpful. Urk! Be vigilant, everyone!
Jill (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I am now getting voicemails from random out of state numbers stating that my social security and all of my assets are going to be seized. I am not even old enough for social security! LOL
Zeus (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I keep one of those small party air horns by my phone. Need I say more?
DanaP (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Harassing amount of calls from Morris IL, Woodstock IL - every time I block one number they call from another with same prefix either 815-308 or 815-585. Started with an American soft spoken women claiming her company received my inquiry and they may have an employment opportunity - once I said I didn't apply for anything, she hung up. Now I just curse them out. In the last month I have probably received no less than 1-2 calls from this same women daily.
Office Rat (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I was most perturbed when I received a call identified as coming from my landline phone number, with my name.
Boomer (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I receive several spoofing calls a day where scammers hijack a legitimate neighbor number and call me. I just do not answer and, of course, they hang up before it goes to voicemail. I sure wish that something could be done to prevent these scammers from hijacking numbers to call.
Teppu (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I'm a senior hit with two scams lately that I unfortunately fell for. Today the new medicare card.... I said I haven't received it. (Will be here soon) Wanted my date of birth and social security number. Medicare already has that info. Then they launched into sending me promo items. I lost it. The other one was just as bad... screen on m,y computer saying they were Microsoft and to call them. Hackers, the worst part is they will call you back and say you have been hacked from overseas and will want access to your computer....They also sell information to other scammers. Please be aware and the do not call list hasn't helped much.
JSC (not verified)
October 17, 2018
In the past 6 nths have red fake call from granddaughter needing money sent to police to post bond; fake IRS call threatening arrest; call regarding credit and asking me to press a number (not happening); list goes on. I have a notebook where I keep other scam information in case it's ever needed. These folks should all go to jail but they would either call us from jail or learn even other scams to perpetrate. Vigilance is our only defense.
Brian in Tacoma, WA (not verified)
October 17, 2018
New Robo call scam - "Officer Gary Kohl from the Social Security Administration calling to report fraudulent activity on your social security account and for you to call ph. 218 321-2448 before legal enforcement action is taken against you." Don't fall for this. File a complaint w/ the FTC on their on-line Do No Call complaint form.
JBlue19 (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I am getting voicemails and texts even and when I play the voicemail they are in Japanese.
Julie65 (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Several months ago I answered and ad on the PCH game online .they said get a free bottle of Slim Natural diet and Slim Natural colon health. Before my SOC check they were trying to take money from my account. Called banks got a # and called them and and I didn't like the product. So they ripped me for 69.99 and 79.99.still in dispute. The ph.#was not answering. Come to find out The Labels were counterfeit. BAD SLIM NATURAL.
saundrasb91 (not verified)
October 19, 2018
I would like for the 1800 number stop calling me please and any number that is not right please and thank you
Dillee (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I am worried about the calls that get you to say the word, "yes" and then hang up. I heard they use your voice saying yes to open an account or loan over the phone and then they take the money and you are left to pay for it, anyone had this actually happen? I know I fell for it a couple of times in the past year but now I only say uh huh...I just don't want to answer the phone anymore either...and I am talking about my cell...don't use landline anymore.
Bella (not verified)
October 07, 2019

In reply to by Dillee (not verified)

This just happened to me. She said can you hear me and i said yes then it disconnected. Do they really take identity or something. Im nervous as hell right now that something is going to happen
jenninpenn (not verified)
October 17, 2018
I get 10 to 12 calls a day from telemarketers so I stopped answering my landline, but every now and then I answer by accident. If you have to say hello more than once its a clue. I hate the ones that open with my first name because, how do they know it, since the line is in my husband's name. I have heard them say they are the IRS, my health insurance company, medicare, Microsoft, my bank, etc. I tell them I'll call them back and they hang up. I feel so sorry for very elderly people or those with dementia. Do Not Call hasn't worked for me. They use any number somehow. I now get emails from friends that I know not to open for fear of viruses. Our government is behind in internet regulating to protect us. I also have been hit numerous times by fraud charging on multiple credit cards.
P.J. (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Sometimes I get calls saying they are from the U.Mass alumni but I don't think it's them.
unikgemini (not verified)
October 17, 2018
Don't answer calls from or call back numbers you don't recognize. Let them go to voicemail. Tell your family & friends to leave voice messages. Whomever doesn't leave a message, didn't want anything important.
wea (not verified)
October 18, 2018
I bought an air horn and let loose when they call. So tired of all the robocalls but the real people are the worst. They won't listen to you or they try to talk over you... one blast and they are gone. I have to say the number of calls I get have decreased!
doc (not verified)
October 18, 2018
For the person using credit cards on line that keeps getting scammed. An easy solution. When I purchase things online, I use a prepaid credit card. I only put on it what I need for that purchase. It is so much safer that way for us.
benthere (not verified)
October 18, 2018
Craigslist scam said pay for the delivery of my piano first then his check would be paid into my account gave a Beaumont Texas phone that was a fraud did the research and said pay for the piano of 9000 first and of course that was the last I heard from him
LenT (not verified)
October 18, 2018
Thank you ftc. for this information site. It is a tremendous help to make us aware of all the craziness coming on our phones and computers. I never answer calls that are not programed into my phone even though many calls now are using the area code for my state. Irritating doesn't even begin to cover it.
svin (not verified)
October 18, 2018
I read in the paper that if you pick up the phone and wait for someone to say hello. If no one does than the line will disconnect and the computer-scammer believes it is not a valid number. You need to remember not to say anything. I have tried this for about a week and the number of calls has dropped significantly.
Tim (not verified)
October 18, 2018
I got a call from someone who left voice mail, that I should call back about a worker compensation I filed, which I have no idea about. The call was from 901 7400 415. I was asked to call 909 942 8970, which I did but it gose straight to voice mail.