The Federal Trade Commission received 7,500 fraud reports from consumers in Maine in 2023, with losses totaling more than $17 million, according to the FTC’s Office of Public Affairs.

Fraud complaints by Maine consumers increased less than 1% from 7,435 reports in 2022, according to the commission’s website. However, total fraud losses decreased 26% from $23 million in 2022, while the median loss dropped 32%, from $600 in 2022 to $410 last year.

The commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network 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.

The commission uses the network to address a variety of consumer protection issues – including identity theft, fraud and other categories – and provide refunds to consumers when possible.

Across all types of reports of illegal trade activity, the commission received 12,812 reports from consumers in Maine in 2023, up 3.6% from 12,368 in 2022.

Imposter scams were the most frequent fraud complaints received from consumers in Maine, followed by identity theft; online shopping and negative reviews; prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries; and banks and lenders.

Nationally, consumers reported losing more than $10 billion to fraud in 2023, up from $8.8 billion in 2022. Investment scams topped the list of complaints, with more than $4.6 billion in losses, followed by imposter scams at $2.7 billion.

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