AARP warns of historic year for fraud

Published 4:45 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

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The numbers are in and last year was yet another historic year for fraud. The Federal Trade Commission released its annual compendium of fraud reports from 2023, and the news is shocking. For the first time ever reported theft through fraud topped $10 billion. The total is 14% higher than what was reported in 2022 and 5 times greater than the reported losses in 2019. Key takeaways from the report include: 

More money, $4.6 billion, was stolen through investment scams than any other type of fraud. Many investment scams were tied to cryptocurrency where consumers reported $1.4 billion stolen. The most frequently reported scams were impostor scams, where the criminal pretends to be a person, company or government agency you trust. The average victim of an impostor scam had a staggering $7,000 stolen from them, according to the report. Lastly, the most popular method for criminals to reach their victims in 2023 was email, surpassing text messages and phone calls which led in previous years. 

While all these numbers are eye-opening the sad reality is that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg because the vast majority of fraud goes unreported.