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Study Reveals the Most Common Types of Scams in Ohio

  • Ohio recorded $154.1 million lost to fraud in 2023, according to 61,303 reports made to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • The most common scam category was Identity Theft which accounts for 24% of all scam reports in the state.
  • Imposter Scams (14%) and Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users (10%) are the second and third most common types of fraud in the state.

A new study has revealed the most common types of fraud in Ohio, with scams relating to Identity Theft being the most common.

The study, carried out by QR code generator, QRFY analyzed data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to discover the most and least defrauded states, as well as which categories of scams are most common in each state.

Ohio was found to be the 44th most defrauded state in the US based on money lost relative to the state’s population size. $154,121,565 was lost to scammers in Ohio in 2023 across 61,303 reports to the FTC, which equates to $1.3 million lost per 100,000 residents.

The ten most common fraud categories in Ohio

Rank Category of fraud Number of reports in 2023 Percentage of all reports
1. Identity Theft 34,616 24%
2. Imposter Scams 19,582 14%
3. Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users 14,315 10%
4. Online Shopping and Negative Reviews 9,104 6%
5. Banks and Lenders 7,132 5%
6. Auto Related 6,051 4%
7. Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries 5,656 4%
8. Debt Collection 3,754 3%
9. Health Care 3,608 3%
10. Internet Services 3,395 2%


1. Identity Theft (24%)

Identity theft is a form of fraud that involves someone using your personal or financial information without your permission. It can damage your credit status and cost you time and money. Signs to look out for include bills for items you did not purchase, you notice letters stolen from your mailbox or you stop receiving mail, and information on your credit report that you don’t recognize. To protect yourself from identity theft, do not share personal information like your bank account number, Social Security number, or date of birth if requested to do so via text email or phone; and only go through companies’ official websites when making online purchases. Review your credit card and bank account statements, look out for unauthorized or suspicious transactions and report them immediately.

2. Imposter Scams (14%)

Imposter scams are cases where someone tricks you into sending money, while claiming to be someone they are not. This type of scam can be carried out over the phone, via email or text, often involve a cybercriminal scammer posing as someone from a legitimate authority, such as your bank, claiming that you owe a certain amount of money. The scammer will then ask the victim to wire transfer them money or purchase a gift card for them. To avoid becoming a victim of imposter scams, never send money to someone you do not know. Do not give out personal information on the phone to people you do not know, even if they seem legitimate.

3. Credit Bureaus, Information Furnishers and Report Users (10%)

Information furnishers are entities that report consumer information to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), including check verification services, credit bureaus, tenant screening companies, etc. Scams in this category refer to false, inaccurate, or incomplete information reporting. They also include improper use of consumer information. Information furnishers have legal obligations and rules under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Thus, it is essential to report inaccurate or improper information use as soon as possible.

4. Online Shopping and Negative Reviews (6%)

Online Shopping and Negative Review scams take various forms, including people falling victim to fake stores. The consumer is often lured in with a fake ad placed on social media, and then they place an order which they never receive. Other online ads may appear to be from well-recognized brands but instead scam. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Review fraud can include merchants posting fake positive reviews, suppressing honest negative reviews, and even paying for positive reviews, which deceive buyers looking for real feedback on products or services they spend their money on.

5. Banks and Lenders (5%)

These scams refer to loans offered under false pretenses. The scammer often hooks their target by making a significant promise they can’t deliver on, or by hiding the actual loan cost. Other bank and lender-related frauds are aimed at obtaining personal or financial information, such as your SSN or credit card number, or charging exorbitant rates or hidden fees.

6. Auto Related (4%)

Auto-related scams take many forms. Fraudsters often use deceptive advertisements for cars sold at unbelievably low prices, which they post on various websites. They may even employ genuine vehicle photos sourced from other online listings to lend an air of authenticity. Additionally, these scammers may fabricate false addresses and provide other misleading information to make the advertisement and themselves appear legitimate. Scammers may also pretend to be representatives of car dealers, manufacturers, or insurers. These scammers will try to convince you that your auto warranty or insurance is on the verge of expiring and try to get your personal information.

7. Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries (4%)

These scammers use the pretext that you have won some sort of prize or lottery jackpot, in order to steal your personal information and money. The main warning sign for this type of scam, is having to first pay an amount of money to get your prize, where the scammer will ask you to pay through wire transfer, gift cards or cryptocurrency. If you are asked to give your financial information to claim any prize or sweepstakes, that is usually a good sign that you are dealing with a fraudster.

8. Debt Collection (3%)

A legitimate debt collector should readily provide you with their company name, mailing address, and details regarding the debt they claim you owe. A debt collector refusing to furnish information about your debt, attempting to collect a debt you do not recognize, or threatening you with criminal charges typically indicates you are being subject to a debt collection scam.

9. Health Care (3%)

Scams of this nature may involve someone trying to sell you health insurance or prescription drugs at a cheaper rate. They may also try to charge you fees to navigate the health insurance marketplace – a service provided for free by law. It is important that you do not give your personal or financial information to anyone other than your healthcare provider or insurer. Be sure to verify any organization claiming to offer healthcare benefits before you sign up.

10. Internet Services (2%)

Internet service scams frequently manifest as phone calls, recorded messages, or text messages, enticing you with an opportunity to reduce your monthly payments. The individual calling, or the person who answers when you dial the provided number, insists that you must make a ‘prepayment’ towards your bill to be eligible for the offer. They may instruct you to pay using gift cards, citing a partnership with a well-known company for a promotional campaign, and request that you call them back with the gift card number. Once you comply, they extract not only the gift card information but also other sensitive personal details during the conversation.

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson for QRFY said:

“As scammers continue to employ ever more inventive tactics to get hold of your finances, it’s possible for people of any age to fall victim to fraud.”

“It is important to be mindful of whether the person you are speaking to, is who they claim to be, and to thoroughly authenticate all official channels before disclosing any personal or financial details.”

“If you suspect that you or someone you know has fallen victim to fraud, promptly report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through ReportFraud.ftc.gov.”

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