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For a state that's considered to be quite poor, Louisiana residents sure get taken to the cleaners by con artists and thieves! I don't if we're just too trusting or what, but it seems like we're targeted a disproportionate amount here in the bayou state.

How often are people in Louisiana the target of identity theft or scams?

Louisiana Radio Network reports that Louisiana is among the top five states in the country when it comes to reported fraud and identity theft per capita. Perhaps we're just better at reporting when we've been ripped off here in Louisiana, but with our general distrust of those in authority, I doubt that's the case. In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission received reports of fraud from 2.4 million Americans with losses totaling $8.8 million. That's an increase of 30% year over year.

What can you do to protect yourself from scams?

Tips from the Shreveport Police Department on Avoiding Scammers:
Never give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller or email. Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason. Stay private. Regularly update privacy settings for social media sites. Scammers often make their stories more believable by monitoring personal information on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Never wire money or provide debit/credit card numbers to a stranger.

The FTC says that the most popular scams involve imposters or romance, so be careful if you're on dating apps. Other 'popular' scams in the last year involved online shopping, sweepstakes, and lottery scams as well as investment scams and finally job scams.

If you'd like to stay up to date on the latest scams, the FTC will send you consumer alerts if you sign up here. Also, if you've been a victim of identity theft or a scam, you can report it to the FTC here. Good luck and stay safe!

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