Report scams to ag.ky.gov/scams
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 8, 2022) –During National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Daniel Cameron today announced the top three types of scams reported to his office in 2021 and shared tips to help Kentuckians avoid them.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), last year 5.7 million Americans reported losing $5.8 billion to fraud. In 2021, Attorney General Cameron’s office received 7,027 consumer reports of scams, which accounted for nearly $12 million in losses.
“Scammers use complex and sophisticated schemes to target potential victims, which can result in significant financial losses for consumers and businesses,” said Attorney General Cameron. “During National Consumer Protection Week, we’re highlighting the top three scams of 2021 and sharing tips to help Kentuckians recognize and avoid the devastating financial losses associated with this type of fraud.”
2021 Top Three Frauds and Tips:
1. Investment Scams
Investment scams involve the sale of fake financial investment opportunities. In these schemes, scammers promise low-or-no risk investments, guaranteed or overly-consistent returns, complex investment strategies, or unregistered securities.
Many investment scams are related to the sale of cryptocurrency. Investment scammers often use social media to lure investors to make an investment on a fake website.
To avoid investment scams, the Attorney General’s office encourages Kentuckians to:
- Research before you invest. Search online for the company and cryptocurrency name, and read reviews.
- Be wary of guarantees and big promises, especially if there’s a celebrity endorsement. Don’t trust people who promise guaranteed returns.
2. Impersonation Scams
Impersonation scammers call or email consumers claiming to be government agencies, law enforcement representatives, utility companies, or a business. Some callers offer technical assistance, and others threaten arrest or disconnection of services. In each circumstance, the scammer will request payment – usually in the form of gift cards – or personal, banking, or account information to solve a manufactured problem.
To avoid impersonation scams, the Attorney General’s office 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. Be sure to obtain a customer support phone number directly from a legitimate website or billing statement.
- Hang up and call the agency or business directly through a verified phone number.
3. Identity Theft
Identity theft occurs when someone uses the personal information of another to open an account, enter into a lease or loan, obtain services, file taxes, apply for government benefits, or break the law.
The most common types of identity theft are unemployment insurance and social security fraud. In these schemes, scammers use personal information to apply for government benefits or to open lines of credit under the victim’s name.
To avoid identity theft, the Attorney General’s office encourages Kentuckians to:
- 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.