Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released statistics from the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2021 that shows consumers reported losing more than $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, an increase of more than 70 percent over the previous year, according to a press release from the FTC.

The FTC received fraud reports from more than 2.8 million consumers last year, with the most commonly reported category once again being imposter scams, followed by online shopping scams. Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; internet services; and business and job opportunities rounded out the top five fraud categories.

Of the losses due to fraud reported by consumers, more than $2.3 billion of losses reported last year were due to imposter scams – up from $1.2 billion in 2020 – while online shopping accounted for about $392 million in reported losses from consumers – up from $246 million in 2020, the press release stated.

The FTC’s 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. Twenty-five states now contribute to the Consumer Sentinel Network.

The Consumer Sentinel Network received more than 5.7 million reports in 2021 that include fraud reports, identity theft reports, and complaints related to other consumer issues such as problems with credit bureaus and banks and lenders. In 2021, there were nearly 1.4 million reports of identity theft received by the FTC.

A full breakdown of reports received in 2021 is available on the FTC’s data analysis site at ftc.gov/exploredata. The data dashboards there break down the reports across a number of categories, including by state and metropolitan area, as well as exploring a number of subcategories of fraud reports.

The FTC works to promote competitionstop deceptive and unfair business practices and scams, and educate consumers. Report fraud, scams, or bad business practices at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Get consumer advice at consumer.ftc.gov. Also, follow the FTC on social mediasubscribe to press releases, and read the FTC’s blogs.

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