Are you at risk for fraud? What are some of the more common frauds and how much could it cost you?
- In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) collected more than 1.4 million fraud reports, and Americans said they lost money to the fraud in 25 percent of those reports. Americans reported losing $1.48 billion to fraud – an increase of 38 percent over 2017.
- The top reports in 2018 were: imposter scams, debt collection, and identity theft.
- Younger people reported losing money to fraud more often than older people. Of those people who reported fraud and their age, 43 percent of people in their 20s reported a loss to that fraud, while only 15 percent of people in their 70s did.
- When people in their 70s lost money, the amount tended to be higher: their median loss was $751, compared to $400 for people in their 20s.
- Scammers like to get money by wire transfer – for a total of $423 million in 2018. That was the most of any payment method reported, but there was a surge of payments with gift and reload cards – a 95 percent increase in dollars paid to scammers last year.
- Tax-related identity theft was down last year (by 38 percent), but credit card fraud on new accounts was up 24 percent. In fact, misusing someone’s information to open a new credit card account was reported more often than other forms of identity theft in 2018.
- The top 3 states for fraud and other reports (per 100,000 population) are Florida, Georgia and Nevada. The top 3 states for identity theft reports (also per 100,000) are Georgia, Nevada and California.
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- Ask students if they, their relatives or friends have ever been victims of fraud. If so, what was the outcome?
- Ask students to prepare a list of local, state, and federal agencies where fraud can be reported.
- Is it possible that the reason more young people reported fraud is because older persons are less likely to report?
- Are older people not reporting fraud because they are not tech savvy, or embarrassed by their inability to know they were scammed?