July 1, 2022

The Federal Trade Commission confirmed this week that it received 22,036 reports of fraud targeting Oklahomans last year.
(Photo illustration by May Gauthier on Unsplash)

“Impostor scams” that often start out as an email, text or phone call from a supposed bank, “IRS investigator” or relative or friend in urgent need of help are adding up to big money losses for Oklahomans, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

People in Oklahoma reported losing nearly $30 million last year to various types of scams. The FTC confirmed this week that it received 22,036 reports of fraud targeting Oklahomans last year. While the median loss was $410, some who fell victim to manipulations of thieves lost much more.

It’s worth noting that experts believe most victims of scams never report them to police or other authorities.

Often sophisticated schemes designed to get people to part with their money are resulting in heartbreaks not only in Oklahoma but across the country.

Nationally, consumers reported losing more than $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021, up from $3.4 billion in 2020, the FTC said.

While impostor scams lead the way in generating losses, people often are victimized by other types, including scams involving identity theft, online shopping, negative reviews, credit reports, advice, and prizes supposedly won in sweepstakes or lotteries.

Nationally, the FTC said more than $2.3 billion in losses last year were attributed to impostor scams.

According to the AARP, impostor…

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