More than 2.8 million consumers fell victim to billions of dollars of fraud in 2021, according to recent data from the Federal Trade Commission.

The agency reported that these consumers lost more than $5.8 billion to imposter scams, online shopping scams, prizes, sweepstakes, lotteries, internet services, and business and job opportunities scams, among other frauds.

Consumer fraud in 2021 increased by a whopping 70% compared to $3.4 billion in 2020. The jump could be attributed to the pandemic as panic and fear increased over the spread of COVID-19.

Imposter scams accounted for $2.3 billion, nearly double the $1.2 billion in 2020. Consumers also lost $392 million in online shopping scams, up from $246 million in 2020.

On average, consumers lost $500 to scams in 2021, the FTC said.

The FTC tracks scam and fraud reports directly from consumers as well as from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau, industry members and nonprofit organizations.

In 2021, it received more than 5.7 million reports of fraud on consumers, in addition to 1.4 million identity theft reports.

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Scammers are using social media platforms to launch finanical scams. geralt/Pixabay