The American Bankers Association Foundation and the Federal Trade Commission today released a new infographic highlighting the problem of government imposter scams. In 2020, 498,000 imposter scams were reported to the FTC by consumers and nearly one in five reported losing money, with reported losses totaling nearly $1.2 billion. Almost one-third of the scams involved someone posing as a government representative.
In imposter scams, scammers will typically call, email, text or direct message consumers on social media, often claiming that back taxes are owed or that jury duty was missed and threatening victims with fines or arrest. Some scammers claim that Social Security or Medicare benefits are being withheld due to COVID-19, in an attempt to trick victims into clicking on a link or handing over personal information. The infographic provides tips for consumers on how to spot these potential scams and how to report them.