The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) statistical survey of fraud in the United States shows that nearly 25 million adults or 11.2 percent of the adult population were victims of fraud during the year studied.
Advance-fee Loan Scams; the most frequently reported type of consumer fraud:
This scam involves consumers paying a fee for a “guaranteed” loan or credit card. 4 1/2 million consumers paid advance fees but did not receive the promised loan or card. In fact, some consumers reported that more than once during the last year they paid fees to get loans or credit cards they did not get.
Buyers’ Club Memberships and Unordered Publications; the second most commonly reported fraud! Four million consumers were billed for memberships they did not authorize or publications they did not order. Credit card insurance scams and credit repair were the third and fourth most common frauds identified in the survey.
While federal law limits consumers’ credit card fraud liability to $50, fraudsters sell credit card insurance by falsely claiming that card holders face significant financial risk if their credit cards are misused. An estimated 3.3 million consumers bought unnecessary insurance against the unauthorized use of their credit cards. Some fraudsters convince consumers that they can help them remove truthful, negative information from their credit report, or establish a new credit record. They can’t, and credit repair schemes are illegal, but two million consumers paid for “credit repair” services the year prior to the survey.
Use this link to find an identity theft lawyer who might be able to help you protect yourself from credit fraud and other credit-related scams and how to repair your own credit free.
The top 10 frauds listed in the FTC report include:
- Advance-fee loan scams 4.55 million victims;
- Buyers clubs 4.05 million victims;
- Credit card insurance 3.35 million victims;
- Credit repair 2 million victims;
- Prize promotions 1.8 million victims;
- Internet services 1.75 million victims;
- Pyramid schemes 1.55 million victims;
- Information services .8 million victims;
- Government job offers .65 million victims; and
- Business opportunities .45 million victims.
In addition to the fraud categories, the survey found that an estimated 13.9 million consumers were victims of telephone “slamming” unauthorized and illegal changes in long distance telephone service.
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