Last week BBB Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming participated in a conference call with various other government and nonprofit partners to discuss how best to protect Wyoming consumers. The call was hosted by the Federal Trade Commission's Northwest regional office and included a variety of federal and state law enforcement agencies as well as nonprofits with consumer protection or fraud prevention missions.The FTC's Consumer Sentinel data found that in 2017, the most common form of scam targeting Wyoming consumers were imposter scams, generally involving scammers impersonating government officials including the IRS. The second most common was identity theft in various forms, and third most were prize, sweepstakes, and lottery scams. Among identity theft reports, credit card fraud topped the list followed by phone or utility fraud, then employment or tax identity theft.Overall Wyoming ranked 43rd out of all 50 states in all fraud reports per 100,000 people and 39th in identity theft reports per-capita. In total, Wyoming residents provided 2,396 fraud reports to the FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network, with the bulk of the reports coming from Laramie County (where Cheyenne is located) and Natrona County (where Casper is located). Wyoming consumers reported total losses of $800,000 for a median loss of $565.Overall Wyoming's fraud and identity theft environment improved slightly over 2016. Total fraud reports and identity theft reports were both down a bit. Wyoming also followed national trends, seeing a significant decrease in tax identity theft. While Wyoming ranks above the national average in median loss, it ranks near the bottom of the country in terms of the amount of fraud reports per-capita. No one category of scam sticks out as a special area of concern, like debt collection does across states in the Southeast.The message from the various partners tasked with protecting Wyoming consumers was thus to keep getting the word out about some of the basic aspects of scams and frauds, such as knowing how government agencies will contact you, that you will never be contacted about winning a sweepstakes or lottery you did not enter, and that unusual payment methods like gift cards or wire transfers make a scam much more likely.The call also gave agencies and organizations a chance to let other partners know about their specific areas of focus and expertise. There was also talk about emerging issues such as the switch to new Medicare cards that do not include a beneficiary's Social Security Number. While the cards are more secure, the rollout has provided an opportunity for scammers to steal personal information by impersonating government employees and telling beneficiaries they must provide such information to receive a new card.In addition to this FTC webinar and conference call, BBB Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming hosts regular law enforcement roundtables with representatives from agencies throughout our service territory to stay up to date on which scams and frauds are targeting consumers and businesses in Colorado and Wyoming. You can help by submitting any scams or frauds you have been the target of to BBB Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker, which is used not only by BBB but also shared with law enforcement partners including as a data contributor to the FTC Consumer Sentinel.