The Federal Trade Commission, which tracks fraud reports nationwide, released data for the third quarter of 2018 and thousands of Connecticut residents have filed complaints.
The FTC received 2,465 reports of fraud from Connecticut residents during July, August, and September. The median loss reported by consumers was $337.
So far in 2018, the FTC has received 8,156 fraud reports from our state. That’s a slight increase from 7,945 during the same period in 2017. The total number of frauds reported in 2017 was 10,422.
Data compiled by the FTC show imposter scams, the IRS Scam and the Grandparent Scam are once again the top-reported fraud in Connecticut.
According to the FTC, “Imposter scams come in many varieties, but work the same way: a scammer pretends to be someone you trust to convince you to send them money.”
Connecticut ranks third in the country for scams related to internet service. The FTC received 175 reports per 48.8 million people.
Connecticut is ninth in the country for fraudulent charitable solicitations, with 11 reports per 3.1 million people.
The head of Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection says the best way consumers can protect themselves from fraud is to avoid falling for it.
“It's just a really pervasive problem and we're out that all the time trying to encourage consumers to be aware of when someone is trying to defraud them and have some strategies to protect themselves," said Michelle Seagull.
One of those strategies is to avoid using untraceable payment methods, such as wire transfer or gift cards. The FTC says government agencies and reputable businesses won’t ask you to pay that way.
Scammers try to pressure you into acting quickly. Before you hand over any money or personal information, take a moment to stop and think. Do some research, and if you are still unsure, run it by someone you trust.
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, file a complaint with the FTC.
You can also sign up for free fraud alerts to stay on top of the latest schemes.