Computer Crime Research Center


Internet datings or sales fraud

Date: September 27, 2007

The statistics are startling: About 35,000 bogus checks are presented to state banks and credit unions every month, and about half of those are deposited by Utahns who then fall victim to some sort of scam.

The average loss for Utahns who fall victim to sweepstakes, inheritance, employment, Internet sales or dating or any number of other scams is about $6,000, according to a task force of banks and credit unions. Multiplied by the number of Utahns falling victim, that means millions of dollars a month and even billions in a year are flowing into illegitimate pockets.

"It's a phenomenal problem," said Karen Nelson of Wells Fargo Bank, a member of a task force alarmed by the tide of scams rolling over the state and the number of residents falling victim.

In fact, Utah ranks No. 1 among states in reporting consumer-fraud complaints to the Federal Trade Commission.
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