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Fraud FTC Report

FTC Releases Consumer Fraud Survey - 1 in 10 Americans are a Victim of Fraud

The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) statistical survey of fraud in the United States shows that nearly 25 million adults or 11.2 percent of the adult population were victims of fraud during the year studied.

Advance-fee Loan Scams;
This is the most frequently reported type of consumer fraud. This scam involves consumers paying a fee for a “guaranteed” loan or credit card. 4 1/2 million consumers paid advance fees but did not receive the promised loan or card. In fact, some consumers reported that more than once during the last year they paid fees to get loans or credit cards they did not get.

Buyers’ Club Memberships and Unordered Publications;
This is the second most commonly reported fraud! Four million consumers were billed for memberships they did not authorize or publications they did not order. Credit card insurance scams and credit repair were the third and fourth most common frauds identified in the survey.

While federal law limits consumers’ credit card fraud liability to $50, fraudsters sell credit card insurance by falsely claiming that card holders face significant financial risk if their credit cards are misused. An estimated 3.3 million consumers bought unnecessary insurance against the unauthorized use of their credit cards. Some fraudsters convince consumers that they can help them remove truthful, negative information from their credit report, or establish a new credit record. They can't, and credit repair schemes are illegal, but two million consumers paid for “credit repair” services the year prior to the survey.

The top 10 frauds listed in the FTC report include:

  1. Credit repair ­ 2 million victims;
  2. Buyers clubs ­ 4.05 million victims;
  3. Prize promotions ­ 1.8 million victims;
  4. Internet services ­ 1.75 million victims;
  5. Information services ­ .8 million victims;
  6. Pyramid schemes ­ 1.55 million victims;
  7. Government job offers ­ .65 million victims;
  8. Credit card insurance ­ 3.35 million victims;
  9. Business opportunities ­ .45 million victims;
  10. Advance-fee loan scams ­ 4.55 million victims;

In addition to the fraud categories, the survey found that an estimated 13.9 million consumers were victims of telephone “slamming” ­ unauthorized and illegal changes in long distance telephone service.