This a companion guide to a presentation done at the 2022 Alaska Library Association Annual Conference. People who review this guide will:
The Alaska State Library does not process scam complaints, nor are we able to provide further assistance beyond the information provided in this guide.
IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF A SCAM, WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONTACT ONE OR MORE OF THE AGENCIES LISTED IN THE WHERE TO REPORT SCAMS SECTION OF THIS GUIDE.
All of the facts and graphics in this section are from Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2020 published by the Federal Trade Commission.
In 2020, Alaska made 5,367 fraud reports with a total loss of 5.7 million dollars, with the median loss being $500. It was ranked 29th in the nation for instances of fraud per 100,000 people.
Nationally, the FTC had this to say about all types of scams in 2020:
There were over 498,000 imposter scam reports to Sentinel. Twenty-two percent of those reported a dollar loss, totaling nearly $1.2 billion lost to imposter scams in 2020. These scams include, for example, romance scams, people falsely claiming to be the government, a relative in distress, a well-known business, or a technical support expert, to get a consumer’s money.
Of the nearly 2.2 million fraud reports, 34% indicated money was lost. In 2020, people reported losing more than $3.3 billion to fraud–an increase of nearly $1.5 billion over 2019.
The median loss for all fraud reports in 2020 is $311. Among the top 10 frauds reported, the median Individual losses were highest in these categories:
The amount of fraud has been growing rapidly for the past two decades and shows no signs of slowing down. That's why it is important to arm our patrons and staff with the means to detect scams, resist them and report them.