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Federal Trade Commission refunds $1.7 million to residents

Staff Report //January 27, 2020//

Federal Trade Commission refunds $1.7 million to residents

Staff Report //January 27, 2020//

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Consumers in South Carolina who filed fraud complaints with the Federal Trade Commission in 2019 received $1,734,530 in refund checks.

Data released from the Federal Trade Commission shows S.C. residents filed 44,526 complaints with the commission in 2019, with the most common category of complaint being identity theft. Leading complaints filed in S.C. also included impostor scams, debt collection, credit reporting issues, and banks and lenders, according to a news release from the commission.

Nationwide, the most common type of fraud reported to the FTC in 2019 was impostor scams. Government impostor scams were the most frequently reported and increased by more than 50% from 2018. Other leading categories include identity theft, telephone and mobile services, online shopping, and credit bureaus.

State consumers filing claims reported losing $16,133,990 to scams and fraud. Nationwide, nearly 2 million consumers cashed FTC refund checks as a result of law enforcement cases.

In 2019, the federal commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network database received 3.2 million reports from consumers, private partners and law enforcement agencies. Nearly 1.7 million of those reports involved fraud and identity theft.

Consumers reported losing more than $1.9 billion in fraud in 2019, with nearly $667 million lost to impostor scams.  

The FTC investigates consumer protection issues to stop illegal activities and provide refunds to customers when possible. In the past four years, more than $1 billion in refund checks have been cashed by consumers.