Being vulnerable is so expensive.

According to a LendingTree analysis of federal data from the first nine months of 2023, the Garden State ranks in the top 10 for money lost by residents due to scams.

According to the online loan marketplace, New Jersey residents lost $170 million to financial scams in the first three quarters of last year.

That's $18.38 per capita — the 10th highest number in the country, according to the analysis. But in reality, the amount lost was spread among a percentage of folks who fell victim to fraudsters.

How successful are scammers in NJ?

The Garden State recorded more than 85,000 reports of fraud during the first nine months of last year — 925 fraud reports per 100,000 residents. The average amount of money lost per report was close to $2,000, according to the analysis of Federal Trade Commission data.

On the bright side, the cost of fraud appears to be on the decline in New Jersey. In the first nine months of 2022, residents lost $181.5 million to fraud.

Nationwide in the first three quarters of 2023, consumers filed 1.8 million fraud reports, citing losses of $7 billion.

Imposter scams represented a third of all fraud reports, but investment-related fraud accounted for the greatest amount of losses ($3.2 billion nationwide).

“For fraudsters, it’s a golden age. Very little about our lives isn’t digitized and accessible online," said Matt Shulz, LendingTree's chief credit analyst. "That means most of our important private data, including bank information, is more vulnerable than ever in a lot of ways."

Scam Computer Keys Showing Swindles And Fraud

Top fraud categories in the U.S.

(Source: LendingTree, first nine months of 2023)

⚫ Imposter scams

⚫ Online shopping/negative reviews

⚫ Prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries

⚫ Business and job opportunities

⚫ Investment-related

⚫ Telephone and mobile services

⚫ Internet services

⚫ Health care

⚫ Travel, vacations, and time-share plans

⚫ Foreign money offers and fake check scams

According to LendingTree's analysis, fraudsters mainly reached their targets via email. But social media scams led to the largest losses during the first three quarters of 2023.

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