FTC Finds Consumer Fraud Pervasive

Millions of Americans Victim to Credit Card, Loan Scams

A new report from the Federal Trade Commission says that every year, millions of Americans are victims of fraud. The FTC surveyed 2,500 people at random last spring, asking them if they have ever been victims of consumer fraud. Researchers used the information to extrapolate findings for the broad adult population.

As NPR's Jack Speer reports, the results were disturbing. They showed that consumer fraud is pervasive, with nearly 25 million adults — more than 11 percent of the adult population — were victims of one or more consumer frauds during the year studied. The most common frauds: paying money to someone prior to receiving a loan or a credit card; buying unnecessary credit card insurance; or paying for a product or service never received.

The 10 most common frauds identified by the report:

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

Business opportunities: .45 million victims

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.