Department Of Consumer Protection, Attorney General William Tong, Better Business Bureau Highlight Top Scams of 2021 During National Consumer Protection Week
Consumers are Encouraged to Join National Consumer Protection Week Events hosted by the Federal Trade Commission March 6-12
MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2022 — The Department of Consumer Protection, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Better Business Bureau are highlighting the top scams that affected Connecticut residents in 2021. DCP and our partners are also reminding consumers to stay vigilant against scams, fraud, and identity theft this year, as we recognize National Consumer Protection Week.
“On top of rising prices, consumers lost more money to fraud and scams last year,” said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “Scammers have no shame, but our agency is here to help. There’s never a bad time to review ways to avoid becoming a victim, and National Consumer Protection Week is a great time to remind the public that scammers will target anybody. It’s important to keep your guard up and learn to recognize the most common signs of fraud.”
“Our office fights every day to protect consumers from bad actors looking to scam hardworking Connecticut residents out of their money and personal information. Americans lost $5.8 billion to fraud last year, a 70 percent increase from 2020. Now more than ever, it is incredibly important to protect your personal information and data and know the red flags of common scams,” said Attorney General Tong.
“A shift toward online shopping during COVID-19, along with lax social commerce shopping platforms, has opened the door for scammers,” said Kristen Johnson, Director of Communications for Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut. “Online purchase scams accounted for more than 40% of the scams reported to Better Business Bureau’s ScamTracker, by Connecticut consumers who lost money. The victims of these scams reported losing an average of nearly $200. Online shopping has more BBB “F”-rated companies than any other type of business.”
Reports of fraud increased in 2021, and Connecticut consumers reported losing $40.9 million to fraud and scams last year, almost double the reported loss in 2020. The average consumer reported losing $460 in 2021, an increase from the average loss of $279 in 2020.
More than 21,000 consumer complaints were recorded in Connecticut last year, up from 18,000 in 2020, and 14,500 in 2019, according to newly released data from the Federal Trade Commission.
Last year in Connecticut, imposter scams were the number one complaint reported by consumers, while reports of identity theft, and complaints related to online shopping, exchanges and returns, continued to surge.
The Federal Trade Commission is hosting several online events this week, and consumers are encouraged to attend or check out the information to brush up on their knowledge of how to protect themselves from scams and fraud and be a smart consumer.
- Follow the FTC on social media for quick, shareable consumer tips all week long.
Wednesday, March 9
- 1pm EST:Join the FTC and the National Student Employment Association for a webinar about college students and cryptocurrency scams. You’ll learn the basics of cryptocurrency and common scams — and how they’re affecting college students.
Thursday, March 10
- Join NCPW Twitter chats on avoiding Coronavirus and imposter scams.
- 1pm EST: Join the Twitter chat in Spanish with @laFTC, @USAGovEspanol and @SeguroSocial. Follow the conversation by using hashtags #OjoConLasEstafas and #NCPW2022.
- 3pm EST: Join the Twitter chat in English with @FTC, @USAGov, @SocialSecurity. Follow the conversation by using hashtags #SlamTheScamChat and #NCPW2022.
- 1 pm EST: Join the FTC, CFPB, and Diverse Elders Coalition for a webinar about financial caregiving. You’ll learn about free resources to help caregivers and older adults plan for financial caregiving. We’ll also share information about how to spot, avoid, and report scams.
- 2 pm EST: Join the FTC, SAGE, and AARP’s Fraud Watch Network for a webinar about how to recover from fraud. This interactive discussion will highlight possible ways to recover money lost to scammers, as well as how to cope with the emotional impact of scams and fraud.
- 7pm EST: Join a Facebook Livewith the FTC and the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Office of the Inspector General. You’ll learn how to spot and avoid government impersonator scams. Please join and bring your questions!
Department of Consumer Protection
(860) 377-0246 (cell)
Office of the Attorney General
(860) 214-0937 (cell)
Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut
860-740-4500 ext. 103