In 2020, IC3 received a total of 791,790 complaints with reported losses exceeding $4.1 billion. Based on the information provided in the complaints, approximately 28% of the total fraud losses were sustained by victims over the age of 60, resulting in approximately $1 billion in losses to seniors. This represents an increase of approximately $300 million in losses reported in 2020 versus what was reported by victims over 60 in 2019.
The initial contact in a lottery/sweepstakes scam is often a call, an email, a social media notification, or a piece of mail offering congratulations for winning a big contest, lottery, or sweepstakes the victim did not enter. To claim their prize, the victim is required to pay upfront fees and taxes. Subjects often request the payments be made via wire transfers or prepaid cards. Often, the scammers will ask for a victim’s banking information to transfer their winnings.
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