Americans lost $10bn a year to fraud last year – but how and why are they getting scammed?
March 26th, 2024, Christien Pheby

Americans lost $10bn a year to fraud last year – but how and why are they getting scammed?

According to FTC data, Americans lost some $10bn to fraud in 2023. But what kinds of fraud are they most likely to fall prey to?

The most common kind of fraud, according to data from YouGov Profiles, is bank or credit fraud. This is experienced by a quarter of Americans overall (26%) – and older Americans aged 55 or over are particularly susceptible to it (35%), while those in the younger 18-34 age bracket are less likely to have been a victim of this type of scam.

Identity fraud (13%) and data security fraud (13%) come joint-second, with shopping/auction fraud coming in third (10%). In each case, we can say that younger Americans are less likely to be victims of these scams than older Americans.

The eldest US consumers aren’t universally more susceptible to scams, however. For example, 8% of Americans have been victims of romance fraud – but this rises to 11% of 18-34s and just 5% of over-55s (this may well be because older Americans are less active on the dating scene). And while 10% of 18-34s have fallen prey to charity donation fraud, this falls to just 3% of over-55s.

Overall, though, just 38% of Americans can say they have never been the victim of any kind of fraud or scam, and this is pretty stable across age groups (39% 18-34; 37% 35-54; 36% 55+).

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YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative of the online population and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.