Now that we are firmly in 2020 it is safe to start looking back at the year that was 2019.
Each year, the Federal Trade Commission releases its Sentinel Data Book, summarizing the information it has received.
The 2019 Data Book can be found here: https://www.ftc.gov/reports/consumer-sentinel-network-data-book-2019.
During 2019, the FTC gathered over 3.2 million reports nationwide. These reports are unverified and are comprised of consumer reports made directly to the FTC, along with “reports filed with other federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies, as well as other organizations, like the Better Business Bureau and Publishers Clearing House.”
The Data Book does not contain information regarding do-not-call violations, which are compiled in a separate report, available here: https://www.ftc.gov/reports/national-do-not-call-registry-data-book-fiscal-year-2019.
According to the Data Book Oregonians made 32,716 reports and suffered $15.5 million in total fraud losses. The median loss for Oregonians was $250.
Oregon accounted for the 7th highest number of fraud reports per 100k population behind only Nevada, Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Georgia and Arizona.
Oregon had 3 Metropolitan Areas in the top 50 for fraud reports with Albany OR coming in at number 42, Eugene, OR at number 49 and the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area at number 50 per 100k population.
Florida, by contrast, accounted for 16 of the top 50 metropolitan areas for fraud reports including 4 of the top 6 per 100k population.
Fairing a little better, Oregon had only the 31st highest number of reports of identity theft per 100k population and did not place any metropolitan areas in the top 50 for identity theft reports.
“Imposter Scams” were the largest reported complaint in Oregon accounting for 27% of the total number of complaints followed by “Identity Theft at 12%.” Reports regarding “Telephone and Mobile Services,” “Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries,” and “Online Shopping and Negative Reviews” rounded out Oregon’s top 5 report categories, each coming in at 6-7%.
“Identity Theft” and “Imposter Scams” also led the list of complaints nationally, each accounting for just over 20% of all reports, significantly ahead of the third highest reported complaint, “Telephone and Mobile Services,” at just under 6%.
The Data Book contains a wealth of fascinating information going back over three years which allows practitioners to get a sense of changes in national trends affecting consumers. For example, while “Debt Collection” reports accounted for over 21% of all reports in 2017 and was the top reported issue for that year, they accounted for less than 5% of all reports in 2019. “Identity Theft,” by contrast, has risen from under 13% in 2017 to over 20% of all reports in 2019.