Fraud Types

Various government agencies track complaints of fraud. Since these tallies include only frauds reported to authorities, they are obviously incomplete but nevertheless useful.

  • In 2009, the top three fraud complaints filed to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network were internet services (6.2% of complaints), shop-at-home and catalog sales (5.6%), and foreign money offers and counterfeit check scams (4.6%).

Consumer Sentinel Data Book, FTC, 2010
  • Common investment fraud schemes reported to regulators such as FINRA and the SEC include Ponzi schemes, pyramid or multilevel marketing opportunities, advance fee frauds, offshore scams, and pump and dump scams.

  Internet Fraud: How to Avoid Internet Investment Scams, SEC, 2007

  • Fraudulent investments also commonly involve foreign currency, precious metals, oil and gas, other commodities and futures and “prime bank” investments.


Common Fraud Schemes, FBI
. CFTC Fraud Advisories: Know the Industry and the Signs of Fraud, CFTC