The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revealed that Americans lost almost $8.8 billion to various types of scams in 2022. This marks a significant increase of over 30% compared to the previous year. The agency also reported that Americans lost more than $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, which represents another massive increase of over 70% compared to 2020.

The imposter and online shopping scams top list of frauds

The FTC stated that 2.4 million consumers reported losing money to scammers, with most of them falling victim to imposter scams and online shopping scams throughout the last year. Imposter scams involve fraudsters impersonating a legitimate person or organization to deceive people into sending them money. Online shopping frauds involve websites that claim to offer products or services but fail to deliver them or deliver substandard goods.

Investment scams cause the greatest monetary loss

The top five fraud categories identified by the FTC include scam reports involving prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries, investments, and business and job opportunities. The agency said that consumers reported losing more money to investment scams—more than $3.8 billion—than any other category in 2022. This amount more than doubles the amount reported lost in 2021.

Imposter scams come in second place

The second-highest reported loss amount came from imposter scams, with losses of $2.6 billion reported, up from $2.4 billion in 2021. These frauds often involve criminals posing as government officials, tech support personnel, or romance scammers.

FTC’s sentinel network records 5.1 million consumer reports

The FTC added 5.1 million consumer reports to its Consumer Sentinel Network (Sentinel) secure online database in 2022. Over 1.1 million reports of identity theft were filed through the FTC’s website. Once included in the Sentinel database, a report is available to roughly 2,800 federal, state, local, and international law enforcement professionals. Each report can help investigators find the fraudsters and make it easier to discover trends and educate the public.

Romance scams cause record losses

The FTC also revealed last month that nearly 70,000 people had reported record losses of $1.3 billion to romance fraud in 2022. Unfortunately, these stats likely reflect just a fraction of the actual harm inflicted by romance scammers, given that most frauds are never reported.

How to report fraud?

Consumers can report fraud attempts at and file an identity theft report at Reporting can help law enforcement investigate the fraud and bring the perpetrators to justice.