In 2022, Americans lost more money to investment fraud than any other type. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there was a record $3.82 billion stolen through investment fraud in 2022, a 128% increase from $1.67 billion in 2021.
This unprecedented rise is attributable to a combination of traditional and modern tactics, with the bulk of the increase coming from cryptocurrency-related scams. In 2022, a record $2.57 billion was lost to crypto-investment scams. More traditional offenders, including Ponzi schemes, pyramid scams and real estate fraud, were also prevalent. Many of these new scams even utilize artificial intelligence, such as voice cloning.
Despite the increase in overall investment fraud, the number of claims against financial advisors that included allegations of fraud fell from 744 in 2021 to 699 in 2022, according to data released by FINRA.
In a recently released study, “The 2023 State of Investment Fraud,” Carlson Law, an investment fraud law firm, analyzed the most recent data from the FBI Internet Crime Report (2022) and the FTC Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book (2022).
Among a great deal of other information, it found that California was the most impacted state overall, ranking first for total money lost ($870 million); Washington, D.C., had the highest rate of investment fraud with 26 victim complaints filed with the FBI per 100,000 residents in 2022; and New Hampshire suffered the highest losses per victim, with the average scamee losing $204,447.
Here are the 20 states with the most investment fraud: