Government impostor scams continue to be costly


The COVID-19 pandemic saw a rise in reports of scammers pretending to be from government agencies. While reports have slowed since peaking in early 2021, Better Business Bureau’s research shows that victims have recently lost considerably more money to these schemes.

The bureau warns people to use caution if they are contacted by a government agency demanding money or offering a government grant for a fee.

The Federal Trade Commission shows reports of losses soared to more than $445 million in government impostor scams, up from $175.4 million reported in 2020. This includes government grant schemes, which the bureau’s Scam Tracker data shows have increased from a median loss of $800 per victim to $1,000 per victim. Scam Tracker reports also showed government impostor scams were the second-most reported scams by businesses in 2021.


Signs of a government impostor scheme

In government impostor schemes,…

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