FTC reports 70% increase in fraud over the last year

Published: Feb. 26, 2022 at 12:04 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In 2021 alone, nearly 2.8 million people filed a fraud complaint, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Scammers are on the prowl with a 70% increase in fraud within the past year. That’s according to new data from the FTC.

Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau of the Midsouth says this increase isn’t surprising.

“The scammers are changing their tactics and unfortunately, people are falling for it more often,” he said.

In 2020, Shelby County had 810 scam reports, totaling a loss of more than $200,000. In 2021 that jumped up 1,010 reports, totaling more than $545,000, with imposter scams among the most prevalent.

“Someone trying to trick you into thinking they’re something that they’re not so they can steal not only your personal information but your money,” said Irwin.

“You cast a wide enough net, you’re going to find a victim that’s willing to negotiate with you,” said Chief Deputy Justin Smith with the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office.

Smith says they’re expecting an uptick in fraud attempts, especially since it’s tax season.

“People claiming to be the IRS. People claiming to be law enforcement are going to be contacting you,” he said.

Smith says the elderly are usually the most vulnerable.

“Educate the elderly people in your family and your community and do everything you can to help protect them,” said Smith.

There are some ways you can protect yourself, including the following:

  • Only buy gift cards for gifts.
  • Be wary of unsolicited communication and don’t make a hasty decision.
  • Always take the time to verify. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!.

”You should always just vet things. Take a little extra time on the front end because that can save you a lot on the back end,” Irwin said.

”We just ask the public, continue to stay vigilant on this. Contact us anytime you have any type of fraudulent activity or an attempt of fraud on a family member,” Smith said.

You can report a scam to the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker by going to their website, www.bbb.org. There you can also track other scams reported across the U.S.

Copyright 2022 WMC. All rights reserved.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.