Bridget Small, Consumer Education Specialist, Federal Trade Commission
Every year, people report fraud, identity theft, and bad business practices to the FTC and its law enforcement partners. In 2021, 5.7 million people filed reports and described losing more than $5.8 billion to fraud — a $2.4 billion jump in losses in one year. You can learn about the types of fraud, identity theft, and marketplace issues people reported by state, and how scammers took payment — including $750 million in cryptocurrency — in the FTC’s new Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. Here are some of the highlights:
- More than 2.8 million people reported spotting a fraud, and one in four said they also lost money. Their combined losses were over $5.8 billion. Imposter scams, when someone pretended to be a trusted person or business, led to losses of $2.3 billion.
- Almost 600,000 people filed reports about credit bureaus in 2021, an increase of more than 80 percent over the previous year. This jump in reports made credit bureaus, information furnishers, and report users the #3 most-reported category of 2021, behind imposter scams (#2) and identity theft (#1).
- People ages 20-29 reported losing money to fraud more often than people ages 80 and over. While younger people lost money 41 percent of the time they experienced fraud, older adults lost money only 17 percent of the time. But when older people did lose money, they lost a median amount of $1,500, or three times the median amount younger people lost.
If you spot a scam, please report it to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.