The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released its 2017 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book. Have you had a chance to check it out yet?

During 2017, the system had 2.7 million reports, a slight decrease from 2016. Fraud accounted for 1.1 million reports (42.54% of all reports). The identity theft category had 371,000 complaints (13.87%), with the “other” category rounding the majority of the remaining complaints with a 1.2 million (43.59%) total. 

Of the fraud cases reported, 21% indicated a loss of money, with respondents reporting the loss of nearly $905 million to fraud. The median loss for all fraud was $419. Travel, timeshare plans, mortgage foreclosure relief, debt management and business opportunities were the fraud categories with the highest median losses.

Nearly 70% of all fraud reports indicated that the telephone was the method of contact. Further, wire transfers continue to be the most frequently reported payment method for fraud, with a reported loss of $333 million.

If you are active in a consumer-facing marketing capacity, this is a great report to spend a little time with. While the data is from 2017, these issues often remain similar year over year. So it’s another good guide to keep an eye on to understand why the FTC focuses its limited resources in one direction or the other.



About the Author

Bill McClellan serves as ERA's Vice President of Government Affairs. Prior to joining the association, Bill worked as a lobbyist at the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association, covering the state legislature and Georgia's congressional delegation. Before working for the GADA, Bill managed political campaigns at both the congressional and state constitutional levels.

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