Investment scams rose in 2022, according to a chart from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Consumers lost $3.8 billion to investment scams last year, more than double the $1.8 billion lost the prior year, according to the federal agency focused on preventing unfair or deceptive trade practices. Investors lost more money than victims of imposters, fake sweepstakes, and job-opportunity cons. Overall, U.S. consumers lost nearly $8.8 billion across 5.1 million reports of fraud in 2022.
The FTC classifies investment fraud as false opportunities in day trading, gold, gems, art, rare coins, and other investment vehicles. It also lumps in any seminars or companies that give investment advice.
Of the 104,703 reports made about investment cons, 74% of targets said they gave the fraudsters money—more than in any other type of scam. Investors reported a median loss of about $5,000 each, the FTC data showed.
The FTC’s data comes from its Consumer Sentinel Network database, which tracks reports of fraud reported by consumers, law enforcement, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and nonprofit organizations.