The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said on Wednesday that American consumers reported losses of more than $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, which is an increase of 70% compared to the reported losses in 2020.
In total, the FTC added around 5.7 million consumer reports to its Consumer Sentinel Network (Sentinel) secure online database in 2021.
Out of these reports, US consumers filed 2,789,161 fraud reports in 2021, and 25% of consumers also indicated a monetary loss and informed the consumer protection agency that they lost a total of $5,893,260,382 to fraud schemes.
“Of the losses reported by consumers, more than $2.3 billion of losses reported last year were due to imposter scams — up from $1.2 billion in 2020, while online shopping accounted for about $392 million in reported losses from consumers — up from $246 million in 2020,” the FTC said.
Additionally, the FTC received nearly 1.4 million reports of identity theft in 2021, which represents a quarter of all reports filed in that year.
The FTC said that young consumers (aged 20 to 29) have reported losing money to fraud much more often than older consumers (ages 80 and over).
“While younger people lost money 41 percent of the time they experienced fraud, older adults lost money only 17 percent of the time,” the FTC added. “But when older people did lose money, they lost a median amount of $1,500, or three times the median amount younger people lost.”
This news comes after the FTC announced on Feb. 10 that Americans reported record high losses of more than $547 million to romance scams in 2021. This figure is up 80% compared to 2020 and over 6 times compared to reported losses in 2017.
Additionally, according to an FTC report on Jan. 25, over 95,000 Americans reported combined losses of over $770 million in 2021 after falling victim to scams on social media platforms.