Consumers Lost Nearly $8.8 Billion to Scams in 2022

Newly released Federal Trade Commission data show that consumers reported losing nearly $8.8 billion to fraud in 2022, an increase of more than 30 percent over the previous year.

Consumers reported losing more money to investment scams—more than $3.8 billion—than any other category in 2022. That amount more than doubled the amount reported lost in 2021. The second highest reported loss amount came from imposter scams, with losses of $2.6 billion reported, up from $2.4 billion in 2021.

The FTC received fraud reports from 2.4 million consumers last year, with the most commonly reported being imposter scams, followed by online shopping scams. Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; investment related reports; and business and job opportunities rounded out the top five fraud categories.

The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network is a database that receives reports directly from consumers, as well as from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau, industry members, and non-profit organizations. Sentinel received more than 5.1 million reports in 2022.

The FTC uses the reports it receives through the Sentinel network as the starting point for many of its law enforcement investigations, and the agency also shares these reports with approximately 2,800 federal, state, local, and international law enforcement professionals.

For more information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Ask students what actions they have taken to keep their security software, internet browser, and operating system up to date.
  • Suggest that students use multi-factors authentication for extra security when they log into their accounts.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the purpose of Consumer Sentinel Network  and why does it provide free data to any federal, state or local law enforcement agencies?
  2. Do you know how to lock down your smart phones, network, and information? 

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