Online shopping fraud on the rise as the holiday season approaches, feds say

As the holiday shopping season approaches, reports of online shopping fraud increased sharply for adults older than 60, according to a government report.

Reports of online shopping fraud more than doubled in 2020, and for the first half of 2021, the numbers continued to be far higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest report to Congress by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The pandemic is partly to blame as people stayed inside to avoid COVID and as many items became hard to find at local stores, sending people to their keyboards to shop, the report says.

But, people tended to lose less money to that kind of fraud than to other deceptions, it noted.

The reported median individual dollar loss to online shopping fraud by older adults in 2020 was $95.

Looking at all the frauds reported to the FTC, consumers 80 and older lost a median of

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