Top Frauds of 2019

A breakdown of FTC reported frauds

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) encourages all of us to report fraud. Each year they compile a list and crunch the numbers of all reported incidents. The results from 2019 are in. For the full report, click here.

The numbers

In 2019, over 3 million reports of fraud were sent to the FTC. The most prevalent of these were impostor scams. An impostor scam is a criminal pretending to be someone else. These scams come in the form of phone calls from the IRS; calls pretending to be a sweepstakes, utility company, or credit card company; emails from online retailers like Amazon or Apple support; emails from people claiming to be a family member; or any other of a thousand different variants using fake numbers and phishing emails.

The most frequent scam in 2019 was in the form of phone calls from the Social Security Administration threatening a number of things. Targeting the retired communities, these scams averaged around $1500 per person. Subsequently, the Social Security Administration and the IRS both urge individuals to hang up on these calls. Both agencies assure they’ll never contact you by phone.

Not surprising, phone scams were the most prevalent form of scamming in 2019. The average victim lost around $1000. When it doubt, hang up and do an online search. Make sure the website you’re getting information from is verified and secure.

Reporting a scam

Additionally, the FTC encourages everyone being affected by scammers to file a report. Last year, the FTC was able to help victims recoup around $232 million in lost money due to fraud.

Fraud reports have also helped to shape legislation and legal action. The more reports that come in, the easier it is for law enforcement to identify and investigate the scammers. These investigations lead to changes in policy. In other words, the more investigations, the easier it’ll be for lawmakers to craft legislation that will help stop the fraud.

If you’ve received a scam call or phishing email, you can report it to the FTC to help with this war on fraud.

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4 thoughts on “Top Frauds of 2019”

  1. E-Learning was preying on people laid off through their Linkedin contact info. They would call pretending to be a placement service and say you were a shoe in for a position at Verizon. They would then call back stating you needed Scrum training and if you signed up today, Verizon would hire you because you were enrolled. The course was $600 for someone unemployed that is a lot of money. I found out it was a scam when I called back the placement service and they answered the phone “E-Learning How may I direct your call” I got a hold of the “placement” person and he denied he worked at E-Learning even though I went through E-Learning to reach his extension. I wrote the school requesting a refund and then called back the contact in the return email. They refunded my money. It was a company with a Seattle address but were working out of India. I also turned them in to the BBB.

  2. Melisa Brook Thomas

    I have been scammed by the Imposter of Social Security Office and now have someone saying I have been approved for loans. All I have to do to get the money is give them my information. I may be getting old but definitely not stupid. Don’t let anyone have any information. Thanks to PCMatic I can rest easy.

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