February 13, 2020
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The FTC saw a big spike in romance fraud complaints in 2019

  • 2017  16,940
  • 2018  22,284
  • 2019  38,851

Romance scam losses of $201 million reported to the FTC in 2019; up 40% from 2018
FBI releases 2019 report for Internet Crime Complaint Center

  • Losses of $3.5 billion reported
  • Largest losses by those over 60 years old
  • Many more complaints received from the UK than anywhere else outside the US
  • Romance scam losses of $475 million

A few trends from the FTC’s 2019 complaint data

  • Debt collection complaints fell: From 626K in 2017 to 135K in 2019
  • Identity theft complaints way up: 371K in 2017; 650K in 2019
  • Imposter scams are way up, but you knew that
  • Sweepstakes complaints down; 143K in 2017; 125K 2019 (is enforcement working here?)
  • Tech support complaints down: 154K in 2017; 108K 2019
  • Travel/vacations up; 17K 2019: 25K 2019

US indicts four members of Chinese military over hacking Equifax credit report information

New scam exploding in the UK: Those selling on eBay are getting emails supposedly from eBay saying that a payment has been made; sellers then ship; 3000 complaints in the last three months; over £1 million lost so far

Texas:  Nigerian gets more than eleven years prison for laundering BEC money; four others also sentenced

Southern District of Illinois:  Two executives at Florida tech support scam get eleven years and nine years prison

Read the full report here