Americans lost nearly $6 billion to fraud last year
(CNN) - American consumers lost about $5.8 billion dollars to fraud in 2021, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Data from the FTC shows the money consumers lost to fraud increased more than 70% over the previous year.
The FTC received fraud reports from nearly 3 million consumers last year, and the most commonly reported category was imposter scams, followed by online shopping scams.
Prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries; internet services, and business-job opportunities rounded out the top five fraud categories.
The FTC says there are some common schemes scammers use.
Scammers tend to pretend to be contacting you on behalf of the government, like the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service or Medicare. Scammers may also say you owe money to government. Some scammers will contact you saying that someone in your family has had an emergency.
The FTC urges consumers protect themselves by refusing to give out personal or financial information in response to a request you did not expect. Also, remember that legitimate organizations do not call, email or text for sensitive information.
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