Americans Lose a Record $10 Billion to Fraud in 2023; Mostly Due To Investment Scams

Record Loss to FraudThe US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has disclosed that people in the United States lost a record $10 billion to fraud in 2023, a 14% increase from 2022. Nearly half of the losses were due to investment scams.

“Consumers reported losing more money to investment scams—more than $4.6 billion—than any other category in 2023. That amount represents a 21% increase over 2022,” the FTC says. “The second highest reported loss amount came from imposter scams, with losses of nearly $2.7 billion reported. In 2023, consumers reported losing more money to bank transfers and cryptocurrency than all other methods combined.”

The median loss from a scam in 2023 was $7,000, compared to $3,000 in 2019. The five most common fraud techniques involved imposters, online shopping, phony sweepstakes or prizes, investments, and fake job opportunities.

“The FTC received fraud reports from 2.6 million consumers last year, nearly the same amount as 2022. The most commonly reported scam category was imposter scams, which saw significant increases in reports of both business and government impersonators,” the FTC says. “Online shopping issues were the second most commonly reported in the fraud category, followed by prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; investment-related reports; and business and job opportunity scams.”

Notably, email was the most common medium used by scammers to target victims in 2023.

“Another first is the method scammers reportedly used to reach consumers most commonly in 2023: email,” the FTC says. “Email displaced text messages, which held the top spot in 2022 after decades of phone calls being the most common. Phone calls are the second most commonly reported contact method for fraud in 2023, followed by text messages.”

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The FTC has the story.

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