New FTC Data Shed Light on Companies Most Frequently Impersonated by Scammers

New data from the Federal Trade Commission shows that Best Buy/Geek Squad, Amazon, and PayPal are the companies people report scammers impersonate most often.

A newly released data spotlight shows that consumers in 2023 submitted about 52,000 reports about scammers impersonating Best Buy or its Geek Squad tech support brand, followed by about 34,000 reports about scammers impersonating Amazon. PayPal was the third-most impersonated company with about 10,000 reports from consumers.

When it comes to the amount lost, though, consumers reported losing far more money to scammers impersonating Microsoft and Publishers Clearing House than any other companies. Consumers reported losing a total of $60 million to Microsoft impersonation scams and $49 million to Publishers Clearing House impersonation scams.

The FTC recently finalized its new rule on government and business impersonation, which gives the agency stronger tools to combat and deter scammers who impersonate government agencies and businesses, enabling the FTC to file federal court cases seeking to get money back to injured consumers and civil penalties against rule violators.

The spotlight also outlines the most common forms of payment people reported scammers used to steal money in 2023. Scammers requested a variety of payment methods, including cryptocurrency and bank transfers, which were the top methods used by investment scammers, according to the data spotlight. Other frequently reported payment methods included payment apps or services and gift cards. The top payment apps and services people reported paying with were PayPal, CashApp and Zelle, while the most reported gift cards were Apple and Target.

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