Consumer Fraud Is On The Rise
Federal Trade Commission data released earlier this year shows that consumers reported losing nearly $8.8 billion to fraud in 2022, an increase of more than 30 percent over 2021. The reports came from 2.4 million consumers, with the most reported type being imposter scams, followed by online shopping scams. Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; investment related reports; and business and job opportunities rounded out the top five fraud categories. Investment scams were the at the top of the list with about $3.8 billion in losses, which is more than double the amount lost in 2021.
What is Fraud?
Fraud refers to the act of deliberately deceiving someone or engaging in dishonest behavior with the intention of obtaining financial or personal gain and can be committed by both businesses and consumers. It typically involves false representations, concealment of information, or manipulation of facts to deceive individuals, organizations, or systems. Business fraud and consumer fraud are strikingly similar.
The legal definition of consumer fraud is as follows:
“Consumer fraud occurs when, in the context of a business transaction, false statements of fact are made, the person making false statements knew that the statements were false when they were made, and that the other party in the transaction relied on the false statements to their detriment.”
Fraud is illegal and punishable by law in most jurisdictions. It undermines trust, causes financial harm, and can have severe consequences for individuals and businesses. Preventive measures, such as public awareness, stringent regulations, and effective law enforcement, are crucial in combating fraud and protecting potential victims.
As attorneys who practice both commercial litigation and personal injury law, we are particularly adept at recovering compensation for fraud victims who have suffered legal damages. If you believe you or your business is a victim of consumer or business fraud, contact the West Palm Beach business and consumer fraud attorneys at Pike and Lustig, LLP. Our attorneys have a combined sixteen years of legal practice with some of Florida’s largest firms. Therefore, we offer our clients sophisticated litigation services at competitive rates.
A full breakdown of reports received in 2022 is available on the FTC’s data analysis site at ftc.gov/exploredata. The data dashboards there breakdown the reports across a numbers of categories, including by state and metropolitan area, as well as exploring a number of subcategories of fraud reports.