Scams, Schemes, and Swindles: A Review of Consumer Financial Fraud Research
The Financial Fraud Research Center presents a summary of research on consumer financial fraud. This white paper outlines what we know (and what we have yet to learn) about consumer financial fraud – its prevalence, victims, perpetrators, and methods.
- Complaints of fraud are increasing, although fraud is still under-reported.
- An estimated $40 to $50 billion of measurable, direct costs are lost to fraud annually.
- There is no single profile of a fraud victim, but certain generalizations can be made about victims of specific scam types.
- Fraudsters are generally white, young or middle-aged men from middle-class backgrounds, often characterized as “middle-class failures.”
- Fraudsters’ methods of contacting targets and receiving payment mirror the technological transformations of the broader market.