The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Reveals Top Reported Frauds of 2023: Imposter Scams and Social Engineering Schemes on the Rise

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April 17, 2024 |
Article | 5 min
| Personal Insights

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released data on the top reported consumer frauds of 2023. The most frequently reported frauds involved imposter scams and other social engineering schemes, resulting in significant losses. These statistics, based on reported cases, underline the importance of reporting fraud to the FTC. Learn more about the manipulative tactics scammers use and how to help protect yourself from falling victim to these scams.

In 2023, the FTC received 2.6 million fraud reports, with 27% of them resulting in losses. These losses amounted to $10 BILLION nationwide, marking a significant 21% increase from 2022. Among the various types of scams, imposter scams remained the leading fraud category. As stated in a recent FTC Consumer Alert, imposter scams accounted for $2.7 billion in reported losses. These scams involve individuals impersonating entities such as your bank’s fraud department, the government, relatives in distress, well-known businesses, and technical support experts.

Imposter scams graphic

Interestingly, younger individuals reported more frequent losses to fraud, while older age groups experienced higher median losses per fraud event. Remember, these statistics are based solely on what is reported to the FTC, and we encourage anyone impacted by fraud to report it.

Many consumer scams exploit a false sense of urgency and fear, where scammers manipulate their victims into acting without careful consideration. This is social engineering at its finest.

These impersonation scams are rampant.

It is important to remember:

  • Do not share your full debit card number
  • Do not allow anyone to remotely access your system
  • Do not disclose your online banking details
  • If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and dial the number on the back of your debit card

What else was in the report?

Investment scams, including cryptocurrency investments and other “too good to be true” opportunities, also pose significant risks. Investment scams accounted for the highest reported losses at $4.6 billion, according to the FTC. 

Fraudsters use sophisticated tactics for these investment schemes, such as using stolen social media profiles and text messaging the “wrong person” to make their scam appear more legitimate. They also target vulnerable groups, like the elderly or non-English speaking individuals, hoping they will not question the perceived opportunity.

What can I do to avoid these scams?

To avoid falling victim to these scams, take precautions such as questioning unsolicited calls or text messages, verifying the identity of the person before sharing any information, and calling back a trusted phone number to confirm payment arrangements, whether it is a friend or family member, or a business who contacted you.

If you have been the victim of fraud or any other scam, report the incident to the FTC at Our team is here to help protect you from these types of fraud and schemes. To learn more about these and other scams, visit our fraud protection resource center.

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