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When spotting scams, report them to police

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s annual compendium of fraud reports from last year, the news is shocking.

Over the past three years, reported losses to consumer fraud has tripled, coming in at a reported $5.9 billion in 2021.

Nearly 6 million U.S. consumers reported a scam last year and the median loss was $500. But the FTC can only tell us about fraud that was reported — we know the losses and number of victims is far higher.

Factors contributing to under-reporting include the abundant shame victims feel. This must change starting with how we talk about fraud victims.

Let’s all commit to help change the current narrative that suggests it’s the victim’s fault — she was duped, he was swindled, they fell for it.

Focus instead on the crime and the criminal. Let’s ease the emotional burden while making it clear that fraud is a crime. We need our lawmakers and criminal justice system to do more to combat the multibillion-dollar fraud industry.

Be a fraud fighter! Report scams to local law enforcement. If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Linda A. Dorset

Wailuku

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