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Each year, the FTC takes a hard look at the number of reports people make to our Consumer Sentinel Network. In fact, during 2019, we got more than 3.2 million reports to the FTC from you. We’ve read what you’ve said, and crunched the numbers. Here’s what you told us in 2019.

  • Imposter scams was the number one fraud reported to Sentinel in 2019. People reported losing more than $667 million to imposters, who often pretended to be calling from the government or a well-known business, a romantic interest, or a family member with an emergency. When people lost money, they most frequently reported paying scammers with a gift card.
     
  • Social Security imposters were the top government imposter scam reported. There were 166,190 reports about the Social Security scam, and the median individual loss was $1,500.
     
  • Phone calls were the number one way people reported being contacted by scammers. While most people said they hung up on those calls, those who lost money reported a median loss of $1,000 in 2019.

You might wonder what, besides these numbers, comes out of reporting scams and other consumer issues to the FTC. Well, because of your reports, the FTC and its law enforcement partners are able to investigate the people and companies that trick people into paying money. Your reports help build and bring those cases, which also helps us enforce laws that stop scams and other dishonest business practices that take people’s money.

 

In fact, during 2019, FTC law enforcement actions led to more than $232 million in refunds to people who lost money. More than 1.9 million people cashed checks mailed by the FTC. And, in the last four years, people have cashed more than one billion dollars in FTC refund checks. That’s real money back into people’s pockets.

 

So if you’ve spotted a scam, keep telling us about it at ftc.gov/complaint. If you need more information about these top frauds, visit ftc.gov/imposters, and ftc.gov/giftcards.

 

Curious about exploring Consumer Sentinel data, or just want to see what’s happening in your state? Check out this new video to learn how.

 

84 Comments


It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

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.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • 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.

Crystal DeKalb
January 30, 2020
The latest PLAGUE of calls for me is from the GEEK SQUAD (supposedly)..telling me that they will be accessing money from my bank account in the amount of $1,000.00 for services that I've had with them for my computer for the last 3 years!!! I have NEVER even talked with GEEK SQUAD!!!
engine618
January 31, 2020
I have been getting a lot of robo phone calls for business, they leave messages saying to hit a number to talk to a rep or hit a different number to go on the do no call list. I am on the National Do-Not-Call listing and I still get phone calls and now I am getting text messages as well. Most have and are Phishing and Scamming websites.
Denise
January 31, 2020
Please be aware of a scam stating that they have money of one million or more sitting in the warehouse. The scammer on the phone instructs the victim to go to the post office and get a money order for $1500. I have called the postal inspector to make them aware. Look out for your parents. Senior Citizens are so easy to target. Help them understand what is legal and what is illegal.
cruzzy36
January 31, 2020
Received a call from 1-207-444-6733 from Eric Shaw badge # 417C2741...saying that I had a warrant for my arrest...it's a scam...he wanted to verify my social security number but I refused to give it to him and he hung up on me. SCAM.....
GotScammed
January 31, 2020
How can I report a scammer living in Indonesia? I am from the Philippines. He got me scammed and took my money away.
FTC Staff
February 04, 2020

In reply to by GotScammed

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

Frustrated
January 31, 2020
My problem, and yes, it's my problem, is... I am a Real Estate Broker. My number must be available to the public and so I get insane numbers of calls that I MUST answer due to the potential of being business related. So, yes, FRUSTRATING...
PNW Realtor
March 03, 2020

In reply to by Frustrated

Have the SAME problem! If I do answer and block the number (because it's NOT a potential client or business related), more calls eventually come with different numbers! I don't EVER answer my home phone if I do not know the number or it's not recognized, but my cell phone is my business!
want to stop s…
February 02, 2020
phone numbers keep calling as ssa 8337657427 and 4323100324
Offended 1n't …
February 14, 2020

In reply to by want to stop s…

I have#855-465-7768 that wants me to call and give them my ss#or I go to jail
chickadee
February 03, 2020
I received 15 calls this past weekend telling me to press 1 to speak to a representative or call this number (208 262-0000). I didn't answer the messages as I don't own any Apple products and felt this was most likely a scam.
Ward-off
February 04, 2020
Rec’d call from “FTC in cooperation with Nevada Gaming Commission” which was “investigating fraud.” “Mr. Quinn” was about to tell me how I could recapture my $75,000 charity-contest prize when I hung up .
FTC Staff
February 04, 2020

In reply to by Ward-off

Thanks for letting us know; you're right - that wasn't the real FTC calling.

You can help law enforcement by reporting the call  www.FTC.gov/Complaint, as an Imposter Scam. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

bbggiigg
February 04, 2020
Got a spam call last night from Verizon Wireless imposters. It was very sophisticated, and even had you enter a PIN. I typed random numbers and it took me to a hold where music played until I hung up.
Sharpen
February 05, 2020
Just received a call from 1-469-687-9245 Dallas, TX. It rang 1X. Caller ID name was Potential Spam. What the what is this?
Misty
February 15, 2020

In reply to by Sharpen

I know when I upgraded my cell calling plan recently they told me a new security feature we would get is spam or scam alerts so when we get one of these that they identify as a possible spam/scam it comes across the phone that way when it rings instead of a phone number.. that very well may be what’s going on for you. You can prob find out from your service provider.
Nathan
February 05, 2020
The first one is very similar to mine, I got scammed for almost $6000. Promising me an opportunity with computer tools and equipments, so that I can work at home. It was a big regret, but now I learned my lesson
Fedup#49
February 06, 2020
Has anyone gotten an email about unclaimed property from the treasure's office
skeptical097
February 07, 2020
Receiving calls and letting it go to voice mail about being in violation of code 18 subsection 102 and 8. And to contact them at 1 (855) 225-0415 before it goes to federal court or I get arrested. I’ve been a law abiding citizen my entire life, so I’m upset someone would try to use this to scam me.
Older ladyn't …
February 09, 2020
Scam on Facebook almost got me Someone went thru one of my friends account and posed as a white house fund organizer Wanted me to give them two $100 gift cards New right there it was a scam
Lorry
February 09, 2020
I get those annoying calls from Monday to Saturday. They call twice in the morning, then twice before bed. I ignore them. They just go into a "do not answer call" on my phone. When they call, my phone doesn't ring it just clicks off. I like that. If I want to see the number, I check out the "do not answer call" to see how many times they call.
G
February 20, 2020
6193467746 calling saying social security has been compromised
Rodeogirl
February 24, 2020
I recd calls from JE Group. They kept on. Thankful they only got me for $100.00. I canceled my credit card # after reading notifications about them being a scam
company owner...
March 02, 2020
Since I opened my own company, they have asked me for many jobs where they want to pay me with a card and they want me to charge them more than the agreed amount and to owe them the supposed difference. they don't even own the property where they apply for the jobs ...
markayDon't us…
March 06, 2020
Besides credit interest and car warranty, got a call from "hello Grandma, this is your Gradson", then a few days later..."hello Grandma, this is your Granddaughter". I just hang up on all of them.
goingnuts
March 09, 2020
I never answer the phone unless I know who it is. I just let it go to voice mail. For about a year now, I have been getting multiple calls a day from a woman who leaves a lengthy message in Chinese (I think). It's the same woman's voice but caller ID always shows different numbers with US area codes. I don't speak Chinese, so I don't know what she is saying--and, frankly, that's what's driving me nuts. Has anyone else had this experience or know what she is trying to accomplish?
Georgia
March 16, 2020
We have received seven Applie iCloud scam calls this afternoon alone. All from a 469 area code number but a different number each time. This is ridiculous!
Frank
June 11, 2020
My daughter got a call from FBI phone # 202-324-3000 but they were spoofing . Meaning number on cell was correct from FBI but the folks calling her were not real FBI. She gave $2,500.00 . She was scammed . She filed a police report.
Mr. HA D. Fool
July 23, 2020
GOVERNMENT GRANT SCAM I feel like a fool that I allowed myself to be caught up in this scam. But, like most people who is struggling to make ends meet; we are hoping that this "grant money" came right on time. The scammers make it sound so believable and official that this has to be real. I was told that I had been selected to receive a $14,000 government grant. However, in order to receive it, I would have to first send them a $200 ebay card to cover processing costs. So I would get in my car and go purchase this ebay card and then call them back and give them the number off the back of the card. Next, the guy to me that he was going to transfer me to his supervisor and they will finish and verify everything and then all I have to do is go to money-gram and pick up my funds. However, once I got on the phone with the "supervisor", she claimed that I had to pay another fee to cover the "FTC" Federal Trade Commission. That cost me another $200. So now I am out $400.00. But, they're gimmick was - for me paying this fee, they will reimburse me and the amount of my grant will go up. So it went from $14,000 to $15,600. Now they want to send in another fee and at that point and $400 I decided that this is a scam and I had been hosed. I just wish I had read this post before I got started. I feel like a fool.
FTC Staff
July 31, 2020

In reply to by Mr. HA D. Fool

Please report this to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The FTC and other lawn enforcement agencies can use this kind of information in investigations. Thank you.

L J
August 18, 2020
I received a call today from 7137662564 reporting to be the social security office. They were asking lots of personal questions. They were saying a car I used to have was involved in a murder . These people are sick and cold harded.
Don't use your…
December 01, 2020
There is Netflix scam and fed ex saying I've got a package ,,ups they send a tex message everyday !!
Sharon
December 10, 2020
I am getting calls from strange whatts app numbers saying I have funds of 1.5million all I need to do is register some bank. Oh and I am to send them 140$ for the transferr fees!!!! They do make it sound good. But I think it is a fake
Dandoun
December 18, 2020
I was scammed by people with this company fxeasytrades. they took my bitcoins to their wallet that I bought from bitcoinmama.com and aftet they asked me to open account in their website to see my trading done from them, they used me