FTC Report: Consumer Fraud Losses Rising Nationwide
Consumer fraud has long been a major problem in the United States. Alarming, there are major warning signs that consumer fraud is getting worse. On February 23rd, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released new, comprehensive data showing that U.S. consumers lost a confirmed $8.8 billion to scams in 2022—a 30 percent increase over the previous year.
As consumer fraud often goes unreported, the true extent of the fraud problem is undoubtedly even more severe. Here, our Miami deceptive and unfair trade practices lawyer discusses some of the most notable observations from the FTC’s latest report and we explain how Florida law (the FDUTPA) allows consumers to take direct action against unscrupulous parties.
The Data is in: Consumer Fraud Skyrocketed in 2022
The FTC is a federal agency that, among other things, is responsible for the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC latest data on consumer fraud shows that we have a serious national problem. In 2022, the FTC reported that it received 2.4 million fraud reports from consumers nationwide. Taken together, the FTC estimates that these fraud reports combined for $8.8 billion in consumer fraud losses. Not only is that the highest figure ever measured by the agency, it is a sharp 30 percent increase over the previous year. Here are some key specific findings from the FTC’s fraud report:
- Imposters are now the top source of fraud. While consumer fraud occurs in a number of different ways, the FTC notes that the number one cause of reports is “imposters”—those being fraudsters falsely posing as a legitimate person or business.
- Investment Scams are Driving the Increase: Investment fraud is rising faster than other top areas of consumer fraud. The total investment fraud reported to the FTC in 2022 was twice as high as the previous year.
- Scammers are Using Social Media and the Phone: The FTC emphasizes that fraudsters work in many different ways. The agency notes that many consumer fraud reports were received regarding social media-based fraud schemes and phone-based fraud schemes.
You Can File a Civil Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Under the FDUTPA
The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a state law that grants protection to consumers against fraudulent and deceptive business practices. Under the law, consumers can file a civil lawsuit against a business or individual that engages in unfair or deceptive practices. You do not have to wait for state or federal authorities to take action on your behalf. Through a deceptive and unfair trade practice claim under Florida’s FDUTPA, consumers (and businesses) can seek financial relief for the full extent of their actual damages caused by fraud.
Call Our Miami, FL FDUTPA Lawyers for Immediate Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami business and consumer fraud attorneys have the skills, knowledge, and legal expertise to take on the full spectrum of FDUTPA claims. Suffered losses due to business or consumer fraud? You need a top attorney on your side. Give us a phone call now or connect with us through our website to schedule your confidential appointment with a top attorney.