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Miller Legal LLP
700 12th Street, N.W. Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005

Nearly 25 million U.S. adults were victims of fraud in one year

August 5, 2004

According to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) survey of consumer fraud, more than one in 10 Americans was the victim of consumer fraud between May 2003 and May 2004. Consumers between the ages of 25 and 44 and deep in debt were the most likely to become victims of consumer fraud.

The survey was the FTC's first on consumer fraud victims, revealing certain racial and ethnic minorities are often targeted. American Indians and Alaska Natives were more likely to be victims over other racial groups, accounting for nearly 34 percent of the demographic group having been victims of one or more consumer fraud scams in the previous year. Following American Indians were African American at 17 percent and Hispanics at 14 percent.

The survey further stressed the necessity of consumers becoming aware of consumer fraud and becoming educated about better protecting themselves. Many consumer fraud cons are successful by targeting non-financially savvy groups, with the most reported type of consumer fraud involving advance-fee loan scams. Consumers end up paying a fee for a guaranteed loan or credit card and receiving nothing in return. Some consumer fraud victims paid advance fees on more than one occasion, affecting four and a half million people according to the survey.

Consumers with high levels of debt were three times more likely to become victims of credit card fraud. The survey exposed 33 percent of consumer fraud victims found out about the fraudulent methods through print advertising in newspapers, magazines, direct mail and catalogs. The FTC survey shows the impact consumer fraud has on the nation and the problem that it has escalated to.

If you have been targeted by an advance-fee loan scam, credit card fraud scam or any other fraudulent scheme, or if you would like more information regarding this case, please contact our consumer fraud attorneys.