Welcome to the 2018 Consumer Fraud Awards Show! We have a great show for you, with criminal activity galore. Tonight’s winners are chosen based on information from the Consumer Sentinel Network 2018 Data Book and brought to you by the Consumer Information Group at your Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Okay, there really isn’t a consumer fraud awards show – but it has been a banner year for fraud and identity theft reports. After a three-year decline from a peak of 1.526 million fraud reports in 2014 to 1.29 million in 2017, 2018 fraud reports shot up to 1.427 million.
Similarly, identity theft reports peaked in 2015 at just over 490,000, sank for two consecutive years, and rose to over 444,000 in 2018. The number of combined annual fraud and identity theft reports is at a record high. One–quarter of those reporting fraud lost money in the process, resulting in a median loss of $375 and $1.48 billion in total losses.