FRANKFORT, KY – During National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Daniel Cameron on announced the top three most common scams reported to his office in 2022 and shared tips to help Kentuckians avoid the financial losses associated with fraud.
In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that 2.4 million Americans reported losing $8.8 billion to fraud, which is a $2.6 billion increase compared to 2021. Last year, Attorney General Cameron's office received 2,167 reports of fraud, totaling nearly $32 million in losses, which is more than double the dollar losses reported during the previous year.
"Rising dollar losses to scams is a national trend, and sadly Kentucky is no exception," said Attorney General Cameron. "During National Consumer Protection Week, we're urging Kentuckians to watch out for common scams as well as those associated with high dollar losses. Kentuckians who encounter scams can report it to our office at ag.ky.gov/scams."
2022 Most Common Scams and Tips:
1. Business Impersonation Scams
Impersonation scammers contact consumers claiming to be utility companies or prominent businesses and request gift card payments or personal, banking, or account information to resolve a fictitious issue.
To avoid impersonation scams, Attorney General Cameron urges Kentuckians to:
- Never share personal information like an account password, Social Security Number, or banking information in an email or with an unsolicited caller.
- Never click on links in pop-up boxes or text messages.
- Hang up and call the agency or business directly through a verified phone number.
2. Identity Theft
Identity theft scammers use the personal information of consumers to open an account, enter into a lease or loan, obtain services, file taxes, apply for government benefits, or break the law.
To avoid identity theft, Kentuckians can:
- Beware of phone calls, texts, QR codes, or phishing emails that impersonate a business or government agency and ask for your personal information.
- Consider placing a free "Fraud Alert" on your credit report by contacting any of the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Transunion, or Equifax.
- Check your credit report regularly. Free credit reports are available at AnnualCreditReport.com.
3. Online Purchase Scams
In these schemes, scammers use fraudulent websites to steal money or the personal and financial information of a consumer. These scammers may charge you more than once for a purchase or never deliver the purchased item.
To avoid the financial losses associated with online purchase scams, Attorney General Cameron's office urges Kentuckians to:
- Pay with a credit card whenever possible.
- Never buy anything from online sellers that require payments using gift cards, cash apps, money transfers, or cryptocurrency.
- Keep records of your online purchases.
While these types of fraud represent the most common scams reported to our office, Kentuckians reported losing the most money to scams related to investments, real estate or rental properties, identity theft, romance and networking, and sweepstakes and lotteries.
To protect Kentuckians from the dangers of scams, Attorney General Cameron will speak to seniors in Louisville during National Consumer Protection Week. To learn more about these events or to request a presentation on scams, visit https://www.ag.ky.gov/about/Office-Divisions/OSPM/Pages/events.aspx.
Attorney General Cameron's office works diligently to protect Kentuckians from fraud and scams. In 2022, the Office of Senior Protection launched a statewide media campaign called
"Be a Fraud Fighter" to alert consumers to the dangers of scams.
The office has also distributed over 75,000 Senior Justice Initiative scam brochures to consumers and regularly issues consumer alerts to keep Kentuckians informed about the latest scam trends.
To report scams, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257, or complete the online scam complaint form at ag.ky.gov/scams. To sign up for consumer alerts and learn more about how to avoid scams, visit ag.ky.gov/consumeralerts.