When people report scams, deceptive practices, or identity theft, the FTC and other members of the Consumer Sentinel Network regularly use that data for law enforcement purposes. But now we’re examining the information in innovative and interactive ways – and you can, too. The FTC just produced a video featuring Paul Witt, the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Sultan of Stats. Give Paul two minutes and he’ll walk you through how to use the FTC’s Explore Data website.
Ever wonder about the top reported frauds in your state? How have they trended over time? Do consumers in certain age groups tend to report certain types of fraud? (An Explore Data spoiler alert: They do.) Explore Data allows you to customize the information you need and automatically create eye-catching infographics.
How can you use this information? We thought you’d never ask:
- Explore Data gives law enforcers, public officials, media outlets, and others up-to-date information about what people in their locale are reporting.
- If you work in social services or are active in community groups, scam stats and trends can help you help the people you serve. For example, an uptick in reports about a certain form of fraud in your state will allow you to tailor your educational messages.
- Giving a speech or presentation? Avoid the bullet point blahs by illustrating your insights with custom infographics.
And now a word from the FTC’s Paul Witt.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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