The Federal Trade Commission announced the launch of two new interactive dashboards detailing consumer reports about international fraud and scams.
One of the new interactive dashboards provides data on cross-border complaints submitted by consumers to econsumer.gov, a site created in 2001 by members of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) to gather and share consumer complaints about international scams. The dashboard is updated quarterly, and includes information on the top consumer complaints, total reported losses, the top locations for fraud, and the top locations for consumer victims.
In 2019, consumers reported losing a total of $151.3 million to international scams, based on the 40,432 reports they submitted to econsumer.gov. Complaints related to online shopping topped the list of consumer complaints, and included reports about misrepresented products, merchandise that didn’t arrive, and refund issues. Other top complaint categories reported to econsumer.gov included government imposter scams, business imposter scams, travel and vacation fraud, and romance scams. Consumers from the United States, France, India, Australia, United Kingdom, and Canada filed the most complaints, while companies located in the United States, China, United Kingdom, India, Hong Kong, and Canada were the subjects of the largest number of consumer complaints.
The second set of dashboards details data on international reports submitted to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network. These dashboards present reports from econsumer.gov and other data contributors. The international reports dashboard includes data about complaints filed by foreign consumers against U.S.-based companies, reports submitted by U.S. consumers against foreign companies, and data by geographic region.
In 2019, consumer reports received by the Consumer Sentinel Network showed consumers lost a total of $276.5 million to foreign scams, based on the 91,560 reports against companies located outside the United States. Online shopping was the top complaint category about non-U.S. companies, followed by tech support scams, romance scams, advance fee loans/credit arrangers, and prizes/sweepstakes/lotteries. For non-U.S. companies, Canada was the subject of the largest number of consumer complaints, followed by China, India, United Kingdom, and Germany.
ICPEN is an international network of consumer protection authorities that aims to protect consumers’ economic interests around the world by sharing information about cross-border issues and encouraging global cooperation among law enforcement agencies. The dashboard was announced as part of ICPEN’s program of work under the current ICPEN Presidency, held by the Colombian Superintendency for Industry and Commerce.
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Juliana Gruenwald Henderson
Office of Public Affairs
Hui Ling Goh
Office of International Affairs