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FTC: Alabamians lost millions to fraud in 2022


A report from the Federal Trade Commission says Alabamians lost over $50,000,000 to fraudsters in 2022. Newly released data says the FTC received over 22,000 fraud reports from consumers in Alabama in 2022. The median loss of $500. A statement from FTC says the top category of reports received from consumers in Alabama was Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users; followed by Identity Theft; Imposter Scams; Online Shopping and Negative Reviews; and Banks and Lenders.

The FTC says its Consumer Sentinel Network is a database that receives reports directly from consumers, as well as from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau, industry members, and non-profit organizations. Reports from around the country about consumer protection issues—including identity theft, fraud, and other categories— are a key resource for FTC investigations that stop illegal activities and, when possible, provide refunds to consumers. Across all types of reports, the FTC received a total of 70,916 reports from consumers in Alabama in 2022. Alabama isn’t the only state with consumers falling victim to fraud schemes. Nationally, the FTC says consumers reported losing close to $9 billion to fraud in 2022, up from almost $6 billion in 2021. Consumers reported losing more money to investment scams—more than $3.8 billion— than any other category in 2022. That amount more than doubles the amount reported lost in 2021. The second highest reported loss amount came from imposter scams, with losses of $2.6 billion reported, up from $2.3 billion in 2021. The FTC says it received fraud reports from 2.4 million consumers last year, with the most commonly reported being imposter scams, followed by online shopping scams. Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; investment related reports; and business and job opportunities rounded out the top five fraud categories. The agency’s Sentinel network received more than 5.1 million reports overall in 2022. Of these, more than 1.1 million were identity theft reports received through the FTC’s website. The FTC say it uses the reports it receives through Sentinel as the starting point for many of its law enforcement investigations, and the agency also shares these reports with approximately 2,800 federal, state, local, and international law enforcement professionals.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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