From sophisticated AI deepfakes to phishing attacks cloaked in emails and text messages, criminals worldwide are increasingly stealing personal information to scam victims. Certain states in the U.S. are actually more susceptible, based on reporting from Forbes.
Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its most recent data and revealed that consumers reported losing roughly $8.8 billion in 2022 because of scams—that’s an increase of 30% from a year prior. Forbes combed through the stats and analyzed it a step further, identifying the states where scams are most prominent.
Georgia came out on top, “with 437 fraud reports for every 100,000 residents during the first quarter of 2023,” while South Dakota reported experiencing fewer financial scams compared to other states. Forbes also found that imposter scams—which are the most common—are most likely to occur in Vermont.
The prevalence of imposter scams underscores the growing threat posed by deepfake technology and social engineering techniques. As the use of generative AI grows, so will the efforts of scammers—particularly as the technology is quick and cheap to use. Understanding the FTC data will be important for state governments to assess why some states are more vulnerable to scams, while others are less so.
In addition to analyzing how scams are impacting U.S. states, Forbes also dug into how they affect different age groups and ethnicities. For example, Americans ages 60 to 69 are more likely to be susceptible to fraud scams. According to the FTC, that specific age group experienced losses of $234 million in Q1 2023. In contrast, younger consumers reported losses totaling $10 million.
“Identity fraud affects different demographics in varying ways,” said Tracy Kitten, Director of Fraud & Security at Javelin Strategy & Research, who has been tracking identity fraud within the U.S. annually over the past two decades. “Non-white U.S. identity fraud victims, as an example, experience different levels of fraud. Exposure to data breaches affects 27% of Hispanic households and 26% of Black households—a considerable difference from White households.”
Ethnic groups respond differently to fraud as well.
“When actual losses occur, Black households seek remedies to their victimization by taking actions that include account closure (21%). Hispanic households follow closely behind, with 14% opting to close their accounts,” Kitten said.