Identity theft is not a joke, Jim!
Louisiana is among the top five states when it comes to the highest per capita rates of both reported fraud and identity theft. Federal Trade Commission Senior Data Researcher Emma Fletcher said they received fraud reports from 2.4 million Americans last year with a total loss of $8.8 billion to scams.
“When you consider that most people don’t report fraud when it happens to them, these are really staggering numbers,” said Fletcher.
And that’s up 30 percent from 2021.
The FTC said the most popular scams last year included Imposter or Romance Scams. Followed by Online Shopping Scams, Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams. The fourth most popular is Investment Scams like cryptocurrency and then Job Scams.
If you’ve been a victim Fletcher encourages you to report it by going to ReportFraud.FTC.gov and even if you haven’t lost money to make them aware of a potential scam.
“Let us know by reporting it, these reports are really, really important to us, both in sort of keeping an eye on what’s happening out there so we can educate the public but also for investigations,” said Fletcher.
The FTC also has tips on their website on how to possibly recover your losses if you’ve been scammed along with a description of ongoing scams. Fletcher said to be on guard and if anyone ever asks you to buy gift cards to fix a problem…
“There is no problem, it’s fake and it’s a scam. Anyone asking you to buy a gift card to resolve something that’s a scam and we’ve seen that a lot,” said Fletcher.
And to receive tips and updates about the latest scams visit FTC.gov/consumeralerts and enter your email address.