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Best Buy, Geek Squad most impersonated for scams in 2023 • The Register

Best Buy, Geek Squad most impersonated for scams in 2023 • The Register
Best Buy, Geek Squad most impersonated for scams in 2023 • The Register

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has shared data on the most impersonated companies in 2023, which include Best Buy, Amazon, and PayPal in the top three.

The federal agency detailed the top ten companies scammers impersonate and how much they make depending on the impersonation. By far the most impersonated corp was Best Buy and its repair business Geek Squad, with a total of 52k reports. Amazon impersonators came in second place with 34k reports, and PayPal a distant third with 10,000.

Proportionally, the top three made up roughly 72 percent of the reports among the top ten, and Best Buy and Geek Squad scam reports were about 39 percent on their own.

Though, high quantity doesn’t necessarily translate to greater success for scammers, as the FTC also showed how much scammers made depending on what companies they impersonated. Best Buy and Geek Squad, Amazon, and PayPal scams made about $15 million, $19 million, and $16 million respectively, but that’s nothing compared to the $60 million that Microsoft impersonators were able to fleece.

Close behind the Microsoft scammers with $49 million in the bag were those pretending to be from door-to-door mag legend Publishers Clearing House. The next six most valuable scams hovered around the $10 million to $20 million range, and the two least successful scams were those impersonating Bank of America, with just $8 million stolen, and Comcast plus Xfinity – at a mere $2 million. Clearly, scammers impersonating Comcast need to step up their game.

The FTC also reported the vectors scammers use to contact their victims. Phone and email are still the most common means, but social media is becoming increasingly important for scamming and features the most costly scams. 

The feds additionally disclosed the kinds of payment methods scammers use for all sorts of frauds, including company and individual impersonation scams, investment scams, and romance scams. Cryptocurrency and bank transfers were popular for investment scammers, who are the most prolific on social media, while gift cards were most common for pretty much every other type of scam.

However, not all scammers ask for digital payment, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation says that even regular old mail is something scammers are relying on to get their ill-gotten gains.

The FTC has three simple pieces of advice to pass on to your loved ones to avoid modern scams: don’t trust anyone who’s asking for crypto or gift cards, always verify who you’re talking to, and don’t believe anyone who demands a single, specific method of payment. ®

Best Buy, Geek Squad most impersonated for scams in 2023 • The Register

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