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Jun 01

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More Than 10% of US Adults Were Victims of Fraud in 2011

A recent report by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) entitled “Consumer Fraud in the United States, 2011: The Third FTC Survey” provides some interesting statistics on the prevalence of fraud.  The underlying consumer surveys revealed that during 2011 an estimated 10.8 % of U.S. adults (25.6 million people) were a victim of one or more of an estimated total of 37.8 million incidents of fraud.

The most frequently reported types of fraud included:

  • fraudulent weight-loss products
  • fraudulent prize promotions
  • being billed for a buyers’ club membership that one had not agreed to purchase
  • being billed for Internet services that one had not agreed to purchase
  • fraudulent work-at-home programs.

Many of these frauds were perpetuated over the internet.  The study also described characteristics prevalent among the fraud victims, which included:

  • being a risk taker
  • having had a recent serious negative life event (e.g.divorce, serious illness, loss of job)
  • having limited numeric skills
  • having excessive debt

Although the results are troubling, they generally represent a decrease in fraud victimization versus the prior 2005 study.  Increased consumer awareness of these types of frauds is integral to their continuing decline.

About the author

Renee Howdeshell

Renee Howdeshell is a founding member of Fulcrum Inquiry, an accounting, finance and economic consulting firm that performs damage analyses for commercial litigation, forensic accountings, royalty & distribution audits, financial investigations, and business valuations. Ms. Howdeshell holds a degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She has testified as an expert witness in federal court, CA state court and arbitration regarding the results of her work. She can be reached at (213) 787-4112 and her resume is available at www.fulcrum.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2013/06/more-than-10-of-us-adults-were-victims-of-fraud-in-2011/

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