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FTC: Consumers Lost Over $10 Billion to Fraudsters in 2023

Posted  February 22, 2024

The Federal Trade Commission released its consumer-reported fraud data for 2023, showing consumer losses rocketed to a new high–over $10 billion, with nearly half of that being lost to investment scams. Deploying the usual targeting methods—email, phone calls, and text messages—fraudsters convinced consumers to dump their cash into fake investment opportunities ($4.6 billion) and imposter scams ($2.7 billion); online shopping fraud; prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; investment-related reports; and business and job opportunity scams.

The data was compiled by the FTC via its Consumer Sentinel Network, which accepts reports from several sources including consumers, law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau, industry members, and non-profit organizations. To make consumer reporting more accessible, the FTC recently announced reports can now be made to Sentinel over the phone in one’s preferred language–including Mandarin, French, and Arabic, to name a few.

Voluntary consumer reporting is key to the FTC’s fraud fighting efforts. Sentinel received 5.4 million reports in 2023, detailing financial frauds, identity theft, and issues related to banking and lenders. Receiving data from multiple, diverse sources enables the FTC to identify emerging trends in fraud and alert and inform consumers on how to identify and avoid these tactics.

In addition to harnessing data and making reporting more accessible in 2023, the FTC:

  • Teamed up with law enforcement and 50 states attorneys general to file more than 180 actions against the operations responsible for billions of unsolicited calls to U.S. consumers in Operation Stop Scam Calls.
  • Proposed a ban on business and government impersonation scams, which is currently in the final stages of the rulemaking process.
  • Brought cases against Wealthpress, Blueprint to Wealth, Traffic and Funnels, Automators, and Ganadores for their investment and business opportunity schemes.
  • Engaged in consumer listening exercises to build knowledge and tools to fight emerging frauds.
  • Wielded its CAN-SPAM authority to stop Publishers Clearing House from employing dark patterns on its website and made Experian pay to settle charges it sent consumers unsolicited email without offering them a way to opt out.

The FTC will continue in its efforts to protect consumers from fraudsters. Constantine Cannon shares in that commitment. If you have information relating to potential consumer fraud or fraud against the government and would like to speak to an experienced member of the Constantine Cannon whistleblower lawyer team, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free and confidential consultation.

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Tagged in: Government Programs Fraud, Reporting to Government,