Archive for March, 2021

Top Ten Consumer Fraud and Consumer Scams

March 4th, 2021

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission released a statistical survey of fraud in America, and the figures are astonishing. The FTC report survey shows that 30.2 million adults, approximately 13.5 percent of the adult population have been victims of fraud so far this year.

The main avenue for consumer fraud entailed deceptive weight-loss products, ensnaring about 4.8 million consumers. The consumers report two other methods involving fraudulent buyers club memberships and foreign lottery offers.

The lottery scamsters enticed victims into giving out their personal bank account information by telling them that they had won a foreign lottery. Of course, the bank account information was needed to “transfer the winnings.” In the case of consumer scam involving buyers clubs, victims were sold “memberships” they had not purchased.

The FTC consumer report shows consumer scams of several hues. The top ten consumer fraud on the FTC consumer reports*:

1. “Fraudulent Weight-Loss Products (4.8 million victims)

2. Foreign Lottery Scams (3.2 million victims)

3. Unauthorized Billing – Buyers Clubs (3.2 million victims)

4. Prize Promotions (2.7 million victims)

5. Work-at-Home Programs (2.4 million victims)

6. Credit Card Insurance (2.1 million victims)

7. Unauthorized Billing – Internet Services (1.8 million victims)

8. Advance-Fee Loans (1.7 million victims)

9. Credit Repair Scams (1.2 million victims)

10. Business Opportunities (.8 million victims)”

The consumer affairs in regards to fraud are mainly handled by the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. The bureau’s mission is to protect consumers against unfair, misleading, fraudulent or deceptive practices. The Bureau addresses consumer complaints, protects consumer rights, develops rules for consumer protections, conducts investigations, enforces consumer protection laws, sues people and businesses who violate the law, and educates businesses and consumers about their fundamental duties and rights []

The FTC is a consumer protection agency that not only offers consumer fraud protection but also shares and collects consumer fraud and identity theft information making them available to law enforcement agencies across the country.

The consumer report found fraud cut across age, race, and education demographics. Young consumers between 35 and 44 were thirty-two percent more likely to be ensnared than consumers between 65 and 74 years of age. African American were 22 percent of the victims, Hispanics 18 percent, and Whites 12 percent. Furthermore, college educated consumers were less likely to be defrauded than consumers without a college degree*.

The main avenues of fraudulent advertising as reported by consumers were*:

• Print advertising, direct mail, includes catalogs, magazine and newspaper and advertising, and flyers and posters – 27%

• Internet, includes Web sites, e-mail, and auction sites – 22%

• Radio or television – 21%

• Telemarketing – 9%

• Others – 21%

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You must be constantly vigilant against offers or promotions that provide quick fixes, easy money, instant remedies to various ills, and income without effort. Remember, anything in life worth doing is going to be difficult, requiring you to challenge yourself. I live by this creed, if you imbibe it as well, you are less likely to deceive yourself and be deceived by others in life.