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Text message scams are particularly effective: The median amount of money lost in consumer fraud scams in 2022 was $650, but for text message scams, it was $1,000. Americans lost a total of nearly $330 million through text message scams that year, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

How many fraud incidents are reported annually?

In 2022, the FTC received 2.56 million fraud reports (of all types, not just text messages) Nearly a quarter of those reports — 624,512 — involved money loss.

The total number of fraud reports increased from 1.9 million in 2019 to 2.6 million in 2022. Since 2019, the FTC has published quarterly data on fraud reports. The first quarter of 2021 had the most fraud reports of any quarter during that time period (876,530), with a 92% increase year over year. The fourth quarter of 2019 had the lowest number of fraud reports (412,107).

Which states report the most incidents of fraud?

Georgia had the highest rate of fraud reports in 2022, with 1,611 reports per 100,000 people (171,208 total reports). North Dakota had the lowest, at 568 per 100,000 people (4,392 total reports).

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How much money is lost to fraud?

Americans lost nearly $9 billion to fraud in 2022. Most fraud reports with financial loss, 59%, involved less than $1,000. About a fifth — 20.1% — reported losses under $100, and 19.8% were above $5,000. But over 88,000 reports involved more than $10,000.

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The total amount of money claimed by fraud grew quarterly from the first quarter of 2019 through the third quarter of 2022, then dipping before peaking in the second quarter of 2023. Total losses that quarter were $2.6 billion — more than four times higher than the same quarter of 2019.

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How many fraud attempts happen via text messages?

In 2022, text messages accounted for 22% of all fraud reports — 329,599 in total — that included a contact method. Six percent of those led to some amount of money lost.

What are the most common types of text message fraud?

Business imposters were the most common type of text message fraud reported in 2022, accounting for 31.8% of all text message fraud reports that year, with $35.1 million lost. The FTC also reported that over 40% of people who reported a text scam said the text claimed to be about a bank, gift, delivery, job, or online shopping.

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What other types of fraud communication are Americans reporting?

In 2022, there were more fraud reports for each type of communication except phone calls compared with 2019, according to the FTC. Reports of social media scams increased the most, by 463.3%, followed by email scams, which increased 20.9%. Phone calls had been the most common type of fraud report, but fell below text messages in 2022.

What are the most common social media scams?

Online shopping scams were the most common form of social media scam in the first half of 2023, comprising 44% of all social media scam reports. Investment-related social media scams were 20% of all reports and 53% of all reported losses.

The FTC provides a number of resources to help people identify and avoid scams — and encourage Americans to report scams at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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Fraud Reports
Last updated
November 2023