California’s residents collectively lost over $1 billion in 2021 to scams, according to the FBI’s State of Internet Scams 2021.
A study by Social Catfish, an online dating investigation service based in California, looked at the report and found it’s nearly double the amount of money that was lost in 2020. According to the report, the average victim in California lost $18,000.
The amount of money lost is twice as much as the next most-scammed state. Texas lost just a little over $600 million to scams in 2021. The other top states were New York, Florida and Pennsylvania, which lost almost $560 million, $530 million and $210 million, respectively.
Although Texas residents lost the second most money to scams, the state ranked third in the number of victims.
California was ranked first with 67,095 victims, Florida with 45,855, Texas with 41,148, New York with 29,065 and Illinois with 17,999.
Nationwide, $6.9 billion were lost to scams. The online report said it’s double the amount of money lost since the beginning of the pandemic. In 2019, $3.5 billion were lost to scams.
Social Catfish pointed out that cryptocurrency scams accounted for $1.6 billion.
“Scammers hit the jackpot with fake crypto investment scams,” the website said.
It’s a dramatic increase from the amount lost in 2020: $246 million. People should be aware that any and all scammers may ask for payment to be in crypto. Social Catfish said it should be considered a “big red flag.”
Social Catfish listed tips for how to avoid online scams.
- Do not give money to people you have not met in person
- Personal information should not be given out to someone you don’t know
- Use a reverse search on photos, emails, phone numbers and addresses
- Watch out for poor grammar and refusing to video call
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