Thousands in DC region lost money to scams, ID theft last year

It can’t be repeated enough — watch out for identity theft and scam artists. The reason those warnings don’t go away is that the scammers aren’t going away.

The Federal Trade Commission is out with startling numbers showing just how much of a common occurrence it is everywhere in the U.S. In 2021. Scam artists defrauded Americans out of $5.8 billion. Last year, that number shot up to $8.8 billion.

People in their 20s lost money to fraudsters far more often than people in their 70s, but it was those people in their 70s and 80s that lost more money than those in their 20s.

Around the D.C. region, there were more than 85,000 reports of fraudulent activity and scams, while more than 20,000 people had their identities stolen. There were thousands of cases of credit card and bank fraud reported. On thousands more occasions, people reported being hit up for money by someone who wasn’t who they claimed to be.

All those scams were costly. The nearly 6,300 fraud cases reported by D.C. residents in 2022 totaled more than $19 million in losses.

Statewide, residents in Maryland reported more than 40,000 cases of fraud, at a loss of $133 million. In Virginia, more than 52,000 reports of fraud led to more than $179 million in losses last year.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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