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The U.S. Is the Most Scammed Country In the World

The U.S. Is the Most Scammed Country In the World

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.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the significant findings of the report, and how you can keep your money and your information safe.

 

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. North Dakota takes the prize for the lowest number of scam victims, at just 703.

 

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 totalling $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 and at its strongest settings.

  • Never share personally identifiable information with an unverified contact. 

  • When interacting with a new online friend or love interest, perform a reverse photo search to verify authenticity. 

  • Never click on embedded links or download attachments from emails sent by unknown contacts. 

  • Never wire money to an unverified contact. 

  • Use strong, unique and long passwords for each of your accounts. 

  • Watch for these red flags in websites, ads and emails: poor grammar and spelling, lack of a physical address and phone number, claims of being in the military and/or working overseas, demands to be paid by wire transfer, in gift card or cryptocurrency and uses a URL that’s similar to a reputable company’s web address.

  • Report any scam and scam attempt to the FTC, IC3, FBI and your financial institution.

 

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

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