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Scams: A Growing and Costly Problem

The Federal Reserve FedPayments Improvement

Scams are increasingly in the news – along with astonishing estimates of the resulting losses and number of people affected. In 2022 alone, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported consumers lost nearly $8.8 billion to scams (Off-site) – a 35% increase from 2021 – despite receiving half a million (19%) fewer reports of scams.

In general, scams are designed to steal money and/or goods through deception. However, the fraud and payments industries have not adopted a uniform definition of scams. Themes common to the various working definitions focus on the nature of a scam: fraudulent, deceptive, dishonest, illegal. Both consumers and businesses are victims.


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