Fraud Tactics

Scam artists work through a variety of mediums and use a variety of persuasion methods to deceive their targets.
  • In a 2004 survey of randomly-selected consumers, the FTC found that most fraud victims became interested in offers (which were later found to be frauds) presented in print media (33%). Telemarketing was the next most common (17% of victims) followed by the internet (14%).

Consumer Fraud in the United States: An FTC Survey, FTC, 2004

  • By 2005, a second FTC study found that frauds targeted through the internet (including email) had increased to 22% of reported incidents. Print advertising dropped to 27% and telemarketing offers fell to 9% of frauds.

Consumer Fraud in the United States: The Second FTC Survey, FTC, 2007

  • The Consumer Sentinel Network collected information about the initial method used by scammers to contact their victims in 2009. 62% of victims supplied an answer to this question; of those, nearly half (48%) said that the first contact had been through e-mail. Phone calls accounted for 10% of the initial scam contacts in these responses.

Consumer Sentinel Data Book, FTC, 2010