The U.S. Is the Most Scammed Country in the World – How Can You Protect Yourself?

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A recent report by Social Catfish, an online investigation service, found that the U.S. is the most scammed country in the world. The good news is, with the right information, you can protect yourself from being part of next year’s stats… 

Who gets scammed the most? With an astounding 466,501 online scams in 2022, the U.S. leads the world as the country with the most scam victims per year. Of the 50 states, California had the most online scam victims in 2022, at 80,766. Among age groups, teens and children have seen the largest percentage increase in money lost. Victims in the under-20 age group lost $210 million in 2022, compared to $8.2 million in 2017. Seniors still hold the place as the most victimized group, though, with their overall losses totaling $3.1 billion. 

How much money was lost to scams in 2022? A record $10.3 billion was lost to online scams in 2022, up from $6.9 billion in 2021. This was an increase of 277% from $2.7 billion in 2017, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center. When factoring in estimated unreported scams, the total money lost to online scams in 2022 jumps to $200 billion. In addition, the average loss per victim per incident was $12,859, up from $8,142 in 2021. Unfortunately, only 4.2% of stolen funds were recovered. 

Where are people getting scammed? Social Catfish found that most online scams happen on Facebook (32%), Google Hangouts (16%), WhatsApp (16), Plenty of Fish (16%) and Instagram (14%). 

How to avoid scams: Keep your money and your information safe with these protective measures…

• Keep the security on your devices updated.• Never wire money to an unverified contact. 
• Never share personally identifiable information with an unverified contact.• Use strong, unique, and long passwords for each of your accounts.
• When interacting with a new online friend or love interest, perform a reverse photo search to verify authenticity. • Report any scam and scam attempt to the FTC, IC3FBI and your financial institution.
• Never click on embedded links or download attachments from emails sent by unknown contacts.• Watch for these red flags: poor grammar / spelling, no physical address or phone number, claims of being in the military and / or working overseas, demands to be paid by wire transfer, in gift card or cryptocurrency.

The statistics on scams may be frightening, but you can stay safe!

Questions? Want more information on Freedom? Contact your personal Freedom Federal Credit Union representative, Lisa Snodgrass at [email protected] or call 410-612-2123!

About Freedom Federal Credit Union

Freedom Federal Credit Union is proud to be your financial partner. Freedom serves and is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, attends school, volunteers, or has family in Harford or Baltimore County, MD. As a credit union, we are committed to putting you first, not shareholders, and helping you achieve your financial goals.

Learn more at freedomfcu.org or call 410-612-2123 to see how we can help.

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