WASHINGTON — According to a Federal Trade Commission study, a record $3.82 billion was stolen through investment fraud in 2022, making it the No. 1 costliest type of fraud in the U.S.
According to a recent study that ranked states by the amount of investment fraud dicovered in their state, Alabama ranks No. 24 on the list, having lost $21 million.
Victims in Alabama lost an average of $131,533, the No. 16 most in the nation, while the state has the 43rd-highest rate of investment fraud with 3.3 complaints filed per 100,000 residents.
It is an alarming trend that can leaves average Americans financially devastated.
Seniors lost nearly $1 billion last year, forcing many to sell their homes after working their whole lives to accrue retirement funds.
Three metrics were analyzed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They included the total number of victims and monetary losses, highest average losses per victim, and highest rates of investment fraud.
According to experts, there are four types of investment fraud:
- AI “deep fake” and “voice cloning” fraud
- Crypto initial coin offerings that promise high returns on nonexistent projects.
- Phantom real estate property schemes with fake permits and titles.
- Ponzi schemes promise high returns to attract new investors, but the returns are paid using money from even more new investors.