Scams to fraud to identity theft: Georgia is 2022′s 2nd worst state in U.S.

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Attorney general warns of text message scams impacting people across Georgia

Credit: WSBTV Videos

Latest data shows older adults are losing the most per attack

Scams, fraud and identity theft are common risks within the United States. But, some states have it worse than others. Unfortunately for residents of the Peach State, Georgia is the second worst state in the country for all three, and its older adults are losing the most per attack.

The facts

According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is reported most in Georgia. Each year, 32,779 identity theft reports are recorded.

“Identity theft is a major problem in Georgia,” The office of the attorney general’s consumer protection division said in a report. “In 2021, Georgians filed 50,441 identity theft complaints with the FTC, which is 158 complaints per 100,000 Georgia residents.”

According to the FTC, younger adults report fraud more often than older adults. However, older adults lose more per fraud report on average. Adults 80 or older lose a median $1,800 per fraud report, more than three times the median value of what adults 20-29 report losing.

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Georgia is ranked second highest in the country for total reports of the various types of fraud per 100,000 people, with a median $600 loss per report. Nationwide, Americans are also being targeted by phishing attacks in record numbers.

The APWG Phishing Activity Trends Report has been released for the first quarter of 2022, revealing the organization has observed 1,025,968 total phishing attacks this year — marking the worst quarter for phishing the APWG has seen.

The FTC said consumers also reported losing more than $1 billion in cryptocurrency to scams and fraud since 2021.

“Fraud reports suggest cryptocurrency is quickly becoming the payment of choice for many scammers, with about one out of every four dollars reported lost to fraud paid in cryptocurrency,” the FTC said in its report.

There are ways to protect yourself.

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How to protect yourself

According to Georgia’s office of the attorney general, it is important to change your browser privacy settings to protect yourself from online tracking. The office suggested turning on your private browsing mode and decide what type of cookies you want to allow per website. Browser security settings are changed through varying steps, depending on the browser used.

If you suffer a data breach, the office suggested freezing your credit, monitor your bank accounts, cancel any cards or accounts that have been compromised, change your online login information, check your credit report, and visit identitytheft.gov to report the fraud.

For older adults who are worried about being targeted by scams, fraud and identity theft, Georgia’s office of the attorney general has issued a consumer protection guide, which can be found here.

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