Millennials are apparently reporting losing money to fraud more often than seniors. But when seniors do become financial victims, they typically take a bigger hit than millennials do, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said in a press release.
Forty percent of those aged 20-29 who reported fraud indicated they lost money, while only 18 percent of those 70 and older said they lost any funds. But those age 80 and older lost more than double than millennial victims, with a median loss of $1,092 compared to $400 for those age 20 to 29. Overall, the FTC is seeing that consumers are losing more money due to fraud in 2017 than 2016.
“While we received fewer overall complaints in 2017, consumers reported losing more money to fraud than they did the year before,” Tom Pahl, the acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in the press release. “This underscores the importance of the FTC’s work in educating consumers and cracking down on the scammers who try to take their money.”
The FTC saw debt collection as the most common complaint category, comprising about 23 percent of all complaints. Identity theft complaints followed close behind, making up nearly 14 percent of all complaints. Specifically, credit card fraud was the most common type of identity theft reported by consumers. And tax fraud was the second most common type of identity theft reported by consumers. Imposter scams, which involve someone impersonating a family member or someone in authority, were the third most common consumer complaint. And consumers said they lost significantly more money to imposter scams – a total of $328 million – than to any other scam.
When it comes to payments, fraud reports show that wire transfers were the most common way victims sent money to scammers. In all, 70 percent of consumers say that fraudsters reached out to them by phone.
Overall, consumers reported losing $905 million to fraud in 2017 – $63 million more than the prior year.