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New Jersey consumers lost more than $71 million to fraud last year, the FTC reports

New Data Shows FTC Received 46,512 Fraud Reports from New Jersey Consumers in 2020

NEW JERSEY – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 46,512 fraud reports from consumers in New Jersey in 2020, according to newly released data.

New Jersey consumers reported losing a total of $71,095,338 to fraud, with a median loss of $320.

The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network is a database that receives reports directly from consumers, as well as from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau, industry members, and non-profit organizations.

This year, the FTC welcomed the data contributions of the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Twenty-five states now contribute to Sentinel. Reports from around the country about consumer protection issues—including identity theft, fraud, and other categories—are a key resource for FTC investigations that stop illegal activities and, when possible, provide refunds to consumers.

Across all types of reports, the FTC received a total of 78,412 reports from consumers in New Jersey in 2020.

The top category of reports received from consumers in New Jersey was Identity Theft, followed by Imposter Scams; Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users; Online Shopping and Negative Reviews; and Banks and Lenders.

Nationally, consumers reported losing more than $3.3 billion to fraud in 2020, up from $1.8 billion in 2019. Nearly $1.2 billion of losses reported last year were due to imposter scams, while online shopping accounted for about $246 million in reported losses from consumers.

The FTC received 2.2 million fraud reports from consumers in 2020, with imposter scams remaining the most common type of fraud reported to the agency. Online shopping was the second-most common fraud category reported by consumers, elevated by a surge of reports in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Internet services; prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries; and telephone and mobile services rounded out the top five fraud categories nationally.

Sentinel received more than 4.7 million reports overall in 2020.  Of these, nearly 1.4 million were identity theft reports received through the FTC’s IdentityTheft.gov website.

In 2020, the FTC introduced ReportFraud.ftc.gov, an updated platform for filing reports with the agency. The FTC uses the reports it receives through the Sentinel network as the starting point for many of its law enforcement investigations, and the agency also shares these reports with more than 2,800 law enforcement users around the country. While the FTC does not intervene in individual complaints, Sentinel reports are a vital part of the agency’s law enforcement mission.

A full breakdown of reports received in 2020 is now available on the FTC’s data analysis site. The data dashboards there breakdown the reports across a numbers of categories, including by state and metropolitan area, as well as exploring a number of subcategories of fraud reports.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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