Department of Consumer Protection, Attorney General William Tong, Better Business Bureau Recognize National Consumer Protection Week
Consumers are encouraged to review educational materials to avoid identity theft, the top reported form of fraud in Connecticut
HARTFORD — The Department of Consumer Protection, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Better Business Bureau are encouraging consumers to review education materials and stay vigilant against scams, fraud, and identity theft this year, as we recognize National Consumer Protection Week.
“Identity theft was the number one form of fraud that Connecticut consumers fell victim to last year,” said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “Scammers are more sophisticated every year, so it’s imperative that Connecticut consumers remain vigilant and keep up to date on recognizing the signs of a scam or fraud, and what to do if they become a victim. National Consumer Protection Week is a great annual reminder to review the available resources from us and our partner agencies.”
“Americans lose billions of dollars to fraud and scams every year. While our office fights each and every day to protect Connecticut residents from losing their money and personal information, consumers can be their own best self-defense against scammers by being aware of the red flags of common scams and taking simple steps to prevent their information from being compromised," said Attorney General William Tong.
“According to the 2022 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, scams perpetrated via text message increased by 40 percent last year. Never click on links in unsolicited messages. Con artists use these links to download malware onto your device to gain access to your accounts and steal your personal information. If you don’t know where a link is coming from or where it will lead, don’t click on it. Instead, swipe and delete,” said Kristen Johnson, Director of Communications for Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut.
Reports of fraud declined in 2022, but consumers lost more money to fraud and scams than ever before.
Connecticut consumers reported losing $57.5 million to fraud and scams last year, compared to $40.9 million in 2021. Scammers were successful in taking larger sums from consumers in 2022. The total number of complaints declined to 18,340 from more than 21,000 in 2021, but the average consumer reported losing $670 compared to $460 a year prior, according to newly released data from the Federal Trade Commission.
The increase was driven by a surge in identity theft complaints, which overtook imposter scams as the top reported form of fraud in Connecticut last year.
Identity theft and identity fraud refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in a way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.
Connecticut consumers are encouraged to review resources to avoid identity theft, and understand what to do if they are a victim of identity theft.
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.
- Facebook: Federal Trade Commission
- Twitter: @FTC (English), @LaFTC (Spanish)
Monday, March 6
- 2pm EST: Join the FTC for a special NCPW webinar about top frauds reported in 2022 with a special focus on how they affect older adults, and how you can protect people from scams.
Tuesday, March 7
- 2pm EST: Join the FTC, AARP Fraud Watch, and the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services for a virtual town hall discussion with librarians about the top scams affecting older patrons – and how to help them avoid them.
Wednesday, March 8
- 1pm EST: Join the NCPW Twitter chat (in Spanish) for advice on avoiding common scams with @laFTC. Follow the conversation by using the hashtag #NCPW2023.
- 3pm EST: Join the NCPW Twitter chat (in English) for advice on avoiding common scams with @FTC. Follow the conversation by using the hashtag #NCPW2023.
Thursday, March 9
- All Day: Watch and share Instagram Reels (in English and Spanish) from the FTC and Social Security Administration on how to avoid impersonator scams.
- 1pm EST: Join the FTC for a special NCPW webinar about top frauds reported in 2022 with a special focus on how they affect older adults, and how you can protect people from scams.
- Twitter: DCP on Twitter
- Facebook: DCP on Facebook
(860) 713-6019 (office)
(860) 377-0246 (cell)