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.
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.
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.
In reply to How can I report a scammer 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.
In reply to My problem, and yes, it's my by Frustrated
In reply to phone numbers keep calling as by want to stop s…
In reply to Rec’d call from “FTC in 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.
In reply to Just received a call from 1 by Sharpen
In reply to GOVERNMENT GRANT SCAM 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.