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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

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Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Consumer losses from fraud, scams reach record levels

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Friday, March 8, 2024   

This is National Consumer Protection Week, and nationwide, people's losses to fraud have topped more than $10 billion, a 14% increase from 2022.

Judy Dollison, president of the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio, said consumer education and awareness of scams is an ongoing challenge. Scammers are constantly changing their tactics and using artificial intelligence and other technology to bait more people. She added that scams are increasingly complex and overlapping, and often involve emotional and psychological manipulation.

"We're seeing a crossover between romance scams and crypto scams," she said, "because now, instead of the romance scammers just asking for money, they're asking their victims to invest in crypto exchanges, which aren't real."

Dollison said 80% of people who've reported losing money to investment scams involving cryptocurrency lost on average more than $3,000. For adults ages 18 to 44, employment scams are the top risk, with an average loss of around $2,000.

Consumers who suspect they've been victims of fraud can file a report with the Federal Trade Commission online or by calling 877-382-4357.

FTC attorney Fil de Banate said Ohioans shelled out more than $154 million to scammers last year. Aside from software scams, he said, the second most reported scam in the state involves imposters.

"There are those scammers pretending to be the government," he said. "There are scammers pretending to be a well-known business or a bank's fraud department, or a family member who needs help, right - a family member who's in distress."

Common imposter cons include people pretending to be affiliated with government agencies such as the IRS or Social Security Administration, charity-related scams and tech-support scams.


This story was produced in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.


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