Old scams never die, and new ones are popping up all the time. From sophisticated AI (artificial intelligence) deepfakes to phishing attacks cloaked in e-mails and text messages, criminals from all over the world are constantly concocting a variety of ways to steal information and money.
They pose as our banks, familiar stores, the IRS, and potential romantic partners. They hack into accounts. They swipe passwords and they even steal our voices and images. They prey on the young, the old, and everybody in between. They use our worst fears and even shocking news events to catch us off guard.
Recent data from the Federal Trade Commission underscores the scale of the problem. The FTC found Americans in 2022 lost $8 billion to fraud, a staggering amount that was up more than 30 percent from the previous year.
Though rip-offs are rampant nationwide, some states are hotbeds, with Washington in that range. To identify the states where scams are most prevalent, Forbes Advisor analyzed data from the FTC for the first quarter of 2023 and scored states by focusing on four factors:
- Fraud reports per 100,000 residents (35 percent of the total score per state).
- Total number of fraud reports (15 percent of the total score).
- Median loss from fraud, in dollars (35 percent).
- Total loss from fraud, in dollars (15 percent).
Georgia is the state where financial scams are most prevalent, with 437 fraud reports for every 100,000 residents during the first quarter of 2023. Washington ranks 13th, with 228 reports per 100,000 residents. South Dakota is least-affected, at 132 reports per 100,000 people.
Nationwide, imposter scams are the most common fraud. Online shopping leads to the second most common type of fraud.
Source: Forbes Advisor, which reports on financial issues related to consumer credit, debt, banking, insurance, and real estate.