Biggest losers: Victims of investment frauds - day trading scams, phony investment opportunities, and bogus investment advice
Ric Edelman: And a very happy weekend to you. Welcome to The Truth About Your Future with Ric Edelman. You know, this show is all about personal finance, and that's the reason we talk about investing on this program. I mean, how can you not talk about investing if it's a show about personal finance? So in your efforts to pay attention to the long-term, in your efforts to stay focused on what really matters, we've got to recognize that it is sometimes a little treacherous. We need to protect ourselves and our efforts to achieve wealth. And that means protecting ourselves from fraud and abuse. And unfortunately, those are rampant.
The Federal Trade Commission says that last year, in 2021, nearly 6 million people filed fraud reports, losing a total of nearly $6 billion. This was a two and a half billion dollar jump over the year before, a 70% increase. So not only are scams out there, they're widely growing. One of the negative side effects of exponential technologies, the prevalence of our living our lives online, means we're coming across scamsters online more than ever. And because it's so easy and cheap and fast to engage online, well, we're losing more money than ever that way. Three of the most common frauds, according to the Federal Trade Commission: imposter scams online, shopping fraud, fake sweepstakes, lotteries and prizes. The biggest losses were related to investment frauds - day trading scams, phony investment opportunities, bogus investment advice and seminars that are fraudulent. Only 2% of the complaints were in this category, but it represented $1.6 billion worth of losses, an average of $3,000 per person.
The top 5 states where people get scammed
Ric Edelman: The five states where the scam reports per capita were the highest: 1. Georgia, 2. Maryland, 3. Delaware, 4. Nevada and 5. Florida. This pretty much shows it's a national crisis. The age groups that lost the most money? You tell me. Which age groups are the most susceptible to getting ripped off? Who are the least sophisticated? Is it the very old or is it the very young? It's a little bit of both. The age 30s lost the most money. People ages 30 to 39 lost $600 million last year, according to the FTC. Not far behind them, people in their 60s lost over $520 million. But everybody in every age group is at risk.