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Colorado consumers reported losing $50,865,030 to scams last year

Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 35,403 fraud reports from consumers in Colorado in 2020, according to newly released data.

Colorado consumers reported losing a total of $50,865,030 to fraud, with a median loss of $360.

The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network is a database that receives reports directly from consumers, as well as from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau, industry members and nonprofit organizations. 

Reports from around the country about consumer protection issues — including identity theft, fraud and other categories — are a key resource for FTC investigations that stop illegal activities and, when possible, provide refunds to consumers.

Across all types of reports, the FTC received a total of 50,335 reports from consumers in Colorado in 2020.

The top category of reports received from consumers in Colorado was identity theft, followed by imposter scams; online shopping and negative reviews; banks and lenders; and credit bureaus, information furnishers and report users.

Fraud losses up

Nationally, consumers reported losing more than $3.3 billion to fraud in 2020, up from $1.8 billion in 2019. Nearly $1.2 billion of losses reported last year were due to imposter scams, while online shopping accounted for about $246 million in reported losses from consumers.

The FTC received 2.2 million fraud reports from consumers in 2020, with imposter scams remaining the most common type of fraud reported to the agency. Online shopping was the second-most common fraud category reported by consumers, elevated by a surge of reports in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Internet services; prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries; and telephone and mobile services rounded out the top five fraud categories nationally.

Sentinel received more than 4.7 million reports overall in 2020. Of these, nearly 1.4 million were identity theft reports received through the FTC’s IdentityTheft.gov website.

In 2020, the FTC introduced ReportFraud.ftc.gov, an updated platform for filing reports with the agency. The FTC uses the reports it receives through the Sentinel network as the starting point for many of its law enforcement investigations, and the agency also shares these reports with more than 2,800 law enforcement users around the country. While the FTC does not intervene in individual complaints, Sentinel reports are a vital part of the agency’s law enforcement mission.

A full breakdown of reports received in 2020 is now available on the FTC’s data analysis site at ftc.gov/exploredata. The data dashboards there breakdown the reports across a numbers of categories, including by state and metropolitan area, as well as exploring a number of subcategories of fraud reports.

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