For the first time, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, 2018 has identified imposter scams as the top consumer fraud complaint received in 2018. The driving factor beyond the growth of imposter scams is an increase in fraudsters falsely claiming to be from a government agency, such as the Internal Revenue Service or Social Security Administration.
In all, the FTC received nearly three million complaints from consumers in 2018. Consumers reported losing nearly $1.48 billion to fraud in 2018 — 38% more than the year before. Consumers reported losing a total of nearly $488 million to all types of imposter scams in 2018 — more than any other type of fraud — and reported a median loss of $500. The FTC also found that Florida had more fraudulent claims than any other state.