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Money Smart

Money Smart Newsletter

December 2023

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Last Updated: January 5, 2024

In This Issue

December Monthly Message from the FDIC

The holiday season is here and it is an important time for everyone to think about protecting their identities. It is a time of joy, but also a time that con artists attempt to steal people’s identity and personal information the most as we shop on line and use our credit cards.

The internet has made it easier for con artists to access Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and other personal information. To help people learn more about preventing theft and protecting their identity and assets, check out the FDIC Resource webpage. You may also review the How Money Smart Are You? game and the Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft section to obtain some tips.

Money Smart for Identity Theft and Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 2022 data shows that consumers reported losing nearly $8.8 billion to fraud. Investment scams counted for the largest loss of more than $3.8 billion. Imposter scams came in second with losses of $2.6 billion. Online shopping was the third highest category with prizes, and business and job opportunity scams rounding out the top five. In total, 2.4 million consumers contacted the FTC with fraud reports in 2022.

You can help consumers help themselves by teaching Money Smart modules about identity theft protection. You can find help in the modules listed below:

Money Smart for Young People: Grades 6-8: Lesson 5: Protect, Grades 9-12: Lesson 20: Protect Yourself.

Money Smart for Young Adults: Module 9: Protecting Your Money and Your Identity.

Money Smart for Adults: Module 11: Protecting Your Identity and Other Assets.

Money Smart for Older Adults: Common Types of Elder Financial Exploitation, Computer-Internet Scams, Identity Theft and Medical Identity Theft, Scams that Target Homeowners, Avoiding Telephone and Internet Scams, Avoiding Charity Scams, Scams that Target Veterans.

How Money Smart Are You?: Protecting Your Identity and Other Assets.

We are always eager to hear your success stories as you assist consumers with financial protection. If you have successful strategies or promising approaches, please share them with us at You can also join us at #FDICMoneySmart and show us your success in action!

Success Stories

Money Smart for Older Adults (MSOA) curriculum has been successfully used to help teach consumers about scams and frauds.

From January 1, 2015 through October 31, 2023, the MSOA product has been distributed in hard copy to over one million users. The American Bankers Association Foundation found that the MSOA is the number one used instructor-led curriculum, after bank proprietary products, aimed at preventing financial abuse of older adults.

In June 2022, the FDIC worked with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to conduct a Money Smart Train-the-Trainer and Money Smart Alliance national webinar for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The FDIC and the CFPB highlighted the growing prevalence of scams targeting older adults; they explained how MSOA could be used to combat it. As a result of the event, visits to the FDIC MSOA website increased 25 percent, while visits to the CFPB MSOA website increased 1500 percent.

In March 2023, FDIC MSOA was featured in a CFPB webinar series aimed at combating elder financial exploitation. That event had over 1,400 views by mid-October 2023. In September 2023, the MSOA was once again featured at a Meet the Bank Regulators event hosted by the CFPB and had over 400 individuals in attendance.

The AARP conducted an evaluated study on MSOA’s favorable impact on older adults in 2022 and the findings are expected to be released by the end of 2023. In addition, MSOA was featured for the first time in the September 2023 AARP Members Only Bulletin.

If you need a way to prevent financial abuse of older adults in your community, MSOA has a proven record of success!

Upcoming Money Smart Events

Our conferences and Money Smart events are posted here.

Latest FDIC Consumer News Edition

The December 2023 edition of the FDIC Consumer News is titled “Older Adults Helping Relatives Through Financial Support.” Read the full article here.

Tips and Techniques

Have students create a budget and track their spending. Students who know what they are spending their money on, where their money is coming from, and where it is going are better prepared financially to build their wealth. Tracking spending also alerts them to any suspicious charges or debits, to make corrections or catch anyone who is trying to use their money fraudulently.

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