Mar 21, 2024 - News

Virginians were scammed out of more than $200M last year

Illustration of a fishing hook sinking into an ocean of hundred dollar bills.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Virginians lost more than $200 million to fraud in 2023, according to a new Federal Trade Commission report.

Why it matters: Americans lost a record $10 billion to fraudsters last year. No group — young, old or even the computer-savvy — shows immunity to increasingly sophisticated scams, the FTC and other consumer protection groups say.

Zoom in: Virginia residents filed more than 54,000 fraud reports in 2023. The median loss per victim was about $500, per the FTC.

  • 20,782 of those reports came from folks in metro Richmond.
  • Virginia ranked at No. 9 for the most fraud complaints in the nation per capita.

By the numbers: Last year, Virginians' top five categories for fraud reports were:

  • 19,211 cases of identity theft.
  • 18,613 imposter scams, like romance-related ones, per the FTC);
  • 16,015 instances of credit bureau or reporting fraud (false info on one's report).
  • 8,160 cases related to online shopping and negative review (includes costs that aren't disclosed or the inability to leave a negative review).
  • 6,294 reports for banks and lenders, which includes predatory lending and payday loans.

Threat level: Over the last few years, Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers were 86% more likely to report losing money to online shopping scams than older adults, per the FTC.

Worthy of your time: What the FTC says to do if you were scammed.

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