Scammers are all the time coming up with new and clever ways to take people’s hard earned money. Learning about the different types of scams and the methods used can help you or your loved ones from falling victim to the scam artists.

According to data released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Americans reported losing nearly $8.8 billion to fraud in 2022. That is an increase of more than 30 percent from 2021. Investment scams account for the most money lost in 2022 at more than $3.8 billion. Coming in second for most money lost were imposter scams with losses totaling $2.6 billion.

The FTC had 2.4 million consumers file reports regarding fraud in 2022. The top five fraud categories were imposter scams; online shopping scams; prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; investment related reports; and business and job opportunities.

While this number seems staggering, the number of Americans that have been a victim of fraud, as well as the amount of money lost to fraud are likely far higher. The FTC receives reports of fraud directly from consumers, as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau, industry members, and non-profit organizations. Not every state reports to the FTC. In fact, only 23 states send data to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Database. With not every state reporting to the FTC, as well as not every victim of fraud has reported their losses, the numbers reported by the FTC do not account for all of the fraud that has happened in the United States.

In 2022, the FTC received 64,852 reports of fraud in the state of Georgia with losses over $161 million. The top category for most reports of fraud was imposter scams followed by online shopping and negative reviews. Imposter scams account for roughly 25 percent of all fraud in Georgia.

The most common methods for scammers to get in contact with their victims are text, phone call, email, web or apps, and social media. Scammers have managed to get their victims’ money through a variety of payment methods including credit cards, debit cards, payment app or service, cryptocurrency, gift card or reload card, bank transfer or payment, wire transfer, cash, check and money order.

Inside Buford will be beginning a series about the various types of fraud and what to watch out for in order to prevent people from being scammed out of their money. Follow Inside Buford on Facebook, Twitter or their website to learn more about scams.

Here are a few resources about fraud including what to do if you are a victim of fraud.

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