What are scammers up to these days? Every day, people just like you tell the FTC what they’ve spotted, and maybe even lost money to. Then, every year, the FTC rolls up all those millions of reports about fraud, scams, and bad business practices to tell the story: what ARE scammers up to these days?
The 2022 headline is this: scammers took a LOT of money. The latest FTC data book says people reported losing $8.8 billion to scams. That’s $2.6 billion more than 2021. Except the number of reports are down by half a million (2022: 2.4 million reports. 2021: 2.9 million reports).
Here are some highlights from 2022:
- Investment scams were huge, with reported losses of $3.8 billion. That’s more than people lost to any other scam, and more than double the loss reported in 2021.
- Impersonator scams were still the most-reported scam, with reported losses of $2.6 billion. The difference this year? Higher losses to business imposters: 2022 losses were $660 million, compared to $453 million in 2021.
- If people paid a scammer, the biggest reported losses were through bank transfers ($1.5 billion reported lost to scams) and cryptocurrency ($1.4 billion reported lost).
- When the scam started on social media, people reported losing the most money overall to scammers ($1.2 billion). But when the scammer called, the per-person loss was the highest ($1,400 median loss).
- Younger adults (ages 20-29) reported losing money more often than older adults (ages 70-79). But when older adults did lose money, they lost more than anyone else.
Check out the graphic for the Top 5 Scams of 2022, and read the FTC’s data book for all the details — including what happened in your state.
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.
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Thank you for the review. I have had all of those call but have not taken any , I think.
However, IF we or you know about these scammers, then why doesn't someone go and at least shut them down. If we can block other company's, social, other, groups, why not scammers? Who do we report scammers to?
Scammed out of 60k that represented my entire balance in the only retirement fund I had. There is no way to recoup this loss attributed to storing my financial information on my personal cell phone and iPad that were both stolen from me. Catching the culprit whom I believe I have identified won’t make a difference as this person is not located geographically and probably has no resources to repay what was stolen anyway. Be mindful to never trust the convenience of storing anything of value on any electronic device no matter how secure you’re led to believe it is. A huge mistake. Ow I suffer in silence and have only myself to blame
In reply to Scammed out of 60k that… by Steven Pertusati
So very sorry this happened to you… my prayers will include you!
In reply to So very sorry this happened… by Sally Harris
In reply to Scammed out of 60k that… by Steven Pertusati
So very very sorry this happened. May it come back to you ten fold
In reply to Scammed out of 60k that… by Steven Pertusati
So so sorry, do not beat yourself up, happens to a lot of smart people, I lost money thru Investments,Took a toll on me,Why it didn’t change anything. One day I hope you are blessed in some way to end up with more money than u lost. Believe it or not,Good things happen to good people. Keep your head up and move forward,stressing about will not help.
In reply to So so sorry, do not beat… by Murphy
Scam Alert ‼️ Report ‼️ The Human!
This is very informative information. Plez instruct me how to report telephone scams. How do seniors send scam numbers to the government to block scammers without paying excessive fees. We as seniors need to no a safe way to block scammers. Thank you
In reply to This is very informative… by Linda Jones
At 82, I can use all the scammer protection I can get.
Loved your “A Scammy Snapshot of 2022” graphic chart.
They tried to scam me but I out smarted them he was trying to get me to open up my bank account but I knew something wasn’t right so I got the police on my cell phone and they answered him well you can guess what happened he hung up fast it was a scam they sent me on my email telling me I have a package on fed x and to get in touch with them
Amen to this and bless you for sharing I am passing this on to all my friends to be aware, and beware of, thanks.
I was just scammed out of $4975 by a window contractor who was referred by a third-party company who supply contractors for household jobs. I used this company before for projects and was assured they checked out the people they refer. How are we supposed to protect ourselves and be cautious when this can happen. Also, if the government would make it illegal for companies to share personal information entrusted to them by their customers, maybe these cases would decrease. They also need to do a better job of protecting seniors who come from a more honest environment.
What is being done from a law enforcement standpoint! It seems like scammers have no fear of being prosecuted.
In reply to What is being done from a… by Stewart M. Townsend
It is unfortunate that a report is only to “gather information and help educate the public” I am educated, so then I reported a large bank who repeatedly requests form for personal information and state
required which is false. I reported to FTC know your client or tax forms are being used to gather information especially if email and mail is not safe . This large bank maybe even the 5th largest knows that the government can’t catch what they can’t see . client is to have
Access and secure portal for forms. But the police department or attorney general or FTC just take report. Not responsibility
In reply to It is unfortunate that a… by Alison Bower
The report you file at www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov goes into the FTC's Consumer Sentinel database, which is available to federal, state, and local law enforcement across the country.
The FTC uses reports like yours to investigate and bring cases against fraud, scams, and bad business practices, but can’t resolve reports on behalf of individuals. The FTC will share your report with more than 2,800 law enforcement partners.
The FTC also uses reports to spot trends, educate the public, and share data about what is happening in your community.
Isn't it true that scammers are almost never caught, and if caught, they don't pay restitution?
I've noticed a lot of emails, particularly what I consider scams, are being sent from educational areas. The sender will use, in many cases, the school name .edu. I don't think the schools want their systems used for scamming people. They should be notified that someone is using their email address for non-school business.
A key that I've found to be important in avoiding scams is to ask myself, "Did I ask for this/send for this, etc.?" Invariably the answer is no, so I just delete whatever invitation I've received.
How/where can I report a hack and threat for ransom money? It originated from my business website.
Why doesn't your organization investigate all these excessive fees Apartment Managing Companies are charging? It's not right that investigations are on a lot of other issues except for people who pay rent. There should be an investigation into how these companies are managing all the money they're charging because there's no accountability!
In my experience and still going through have been since last March 2022 and still going on I reported nothing happened my information got sold online twice I have been threatened 3 times and I have been asked for prove of a green card and a passport and I am still getting hacked every day and people are still using my information and I feel like I am being treated like a criminal Not a victim my banking app has been locked on me by the company they want unlock it and it's been that way for a month now and I applied for another bank come to find out I had 4 accounts opened In my name. And I did apply for it until end of January of this year. So and I supposed to went to court never notified and never got any documents and never received anything but I am doing a compliance thing because of the hackers using the same device as me and they got the same phone as my new one and nothing happens and they got into my account took out money and the business want stop them and they stop notifieing me and they want alert me for anything so it doesn't do any good to complain because of the identity theft and fraud and data breach and privacy breach I got no settlement or anything after that and I got cited for what the hackers did they threatened me and told me they would make sure I wouldn't get one dime of it. And they did they would download 100 hundred pages a night then I would get up find whole bunch of emails then I would explain myself for about 6 hours a day and I got people buy houses in my name and filing income taxes In My name. And
Credit cards and I get in trouble for what ever
They did and it's not right in my book they treatment like a criminal Not a victim and I owe taxes and I only get a month check I can't afford to pay that much and I don't know what to do anymore
In reply to In my experience and still… by Deedee
More than 1 million people reported identity theft to the FTC in 2022.
Report identity theft and get help with a recovery plan at www.IdentityTheft.gov. Or call 1-877-438-4338.
When you file a report with the FTC, you make an Identity Theft Report.
An Identity Theft Report guarantees you certain rights. Use the Report to prove to businesses that someone stole your identity.
In reply to More than 1 million people… by FTC Staff
What is prevention education and awareness when we are told to prove the . We have to allow the information to be stolen and used first ? So If a private bank collects KYC Know Your Customer Information and a bank collects W-9with social security number. Or anyone who asks for a form before withholding their information and payer is not issued information or open acount . What does banking do with your personal information? How can I protect myself from being a victim when a entity asks for KYC or w-9 but they haven’t used and forms have no regulations for secure communication no acountFTC states PROOFFraud Prevention
Someone tried to scam me by impersonating Microsoft. They sent me an email which eventually locked my computer so I couldn’t use it. The listed a phone # which I called. They then requested me to set up an account and to transfer $5000 to that account. I realized that it was a fraud and contacted my bank. I found out that my husbands retirement funds account had been hacked several months earlier and had obtained access to all the members of the pensioners funds private information which included names, SSI #, birth dates etc. consequently we had to notify all of our financial institutions, credit cards, et al. The banks froze our bank account for 90 days and changed our account numbers. It has been a nightmare to get access to our moneys and use of our new credit cards because they are making sure it is us who our using them.
Keukasmallie gave some solid advice about the first thing to do when opening an email like that is to ask yourself if this is something you asked for or requested.
The other important bit that has saved me is to never trust a link or a phone number in an email. Whomever is supposedly contacting me, if I am supposed to call them on some number in the email, just trash that number. Either use a phone number for the company that you already know is a good, or look up a phone number for the company online. And while you are looking up the real business's phone number and cross check the number you found against two or three other listings for the business. Whatever you do, do not click a link or call from suspicious email or notification.
What is the use of blocking unwanted calls devices if scammers use the different telephone numbers each time spamming them?
Hi ftc.gov owner, Your posts are always a great read.
I am now receiving about 1000 (!!) junk emails a day, up from about 50 just a few months ago. It is impossible to report every single illegal contact to the FTC as each contact has to be reported individually. I have every security measure that I know of in place on social media, apps, search engines. Financial accounts are all set up to notify me immediately of all transactions. I check my credit files regularly. I don’t click any link that I didn’t initiate, answer phone calls only from known numbers, and I block unknown calls and texts. Nothing has stopped or even slowed the onslaught of emails, texts, calls and advertisements. Tired of hearing empty speeches that deliver no relief.
In reply to I am now receiving about… by Joanne
In reply to Read this FTC article for… by FTC Staff
One very important lesson in reference to email scams: look very closely at the 'from' email address. Even if the email address includes some words of the company, etc. you have an account with or have interest in clicking on the link provided, read ALL the way to the end of it for clues of not being right for your particular situation.
The email may have logos or markings and other information like it is from a business, such as your bank, credit card company, etc....always, check the grammar or for any misspellings...anything that doesn't look right. The key is to look very closely at the information before clicking on ANY links.
And, for further security...don't respond by using the link. Instead, type in the website address using your browser, such as Google, etc. and respond that way or call the telephone number listed on the website.
Some emails scams can look very legitimate.
Many times the 'from' email address is a very good clue something is not right!