Record high $10 billion lost to fraud by US consumers in 2023

Investment scams increase 21% – with losses of more than $4.6 billion in total last year.

A new report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reveals US consumers lost more than $10 billion to fraud in 2023, an increase of 14% on 2022. For the first time, losses reached over $10 billion.

The report also revealed that consumers are losing more money to scams than before – more than $4.6 billion during the year – an increase of 21%. The second highest loss amount came from imposter scams, with losses of almost $2.7 billion in total.

During the last three years, over $10 billion has been reported as lost to investment scams:

  • 2023: $4.6 billion.
  • 2022: $3.8 billion.
  • 2021: $1.7 billion.

The most common methods of fraudulently obtaining funds were via bank transfers and cryptocurrency.

“Digital tools are making it easier than ever to target hard-working Americans, and we see the effects of that in the data we’re releasing today,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Imposter scams increased

During the year, the FTC received fraud reports from a total of 2.6 million consumers, compared to 2.5 million in 2022, and saw a significant increase in reports of imposter scams with both business and government impersonators.

Online shopping was the second most common fraud category, followed by prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; investment-related reports; and business and job opportunity scams.

The FTC also noted a shift in scamming techniques, with emails overtaking phone calls as the most used method of fraud. There were 358,000 reports of spam in total. Text messages were the third most common method used.

The losses to business imposters have also climbed during the last years, from $438m in 2021, to $666m in 2022, and $752m in 2023.