COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) — We’ve all been warned of the various scams on the market these days, be it in the form of a fake text appearing to come from an insurance or student loan provider, or even a fake call that appears to be from a loved one. But who is the primary target of these money-seeking scams?
According to research from the Better Business Bureau, people ages 18-24 reported losing more money to scams than older age groups.
“They may not have a lot of experience in investing or they may not have a lot of experience in the job market,” said Melissa Ames of the BBB. “So because of that lack of experience, they’re prime targets.”
The research ranks the top 10 riskiest scams for that age range and places employment scams in the No. 1 spot with the highest median dollar lost at $1,819.
The top 10 riskiest scams for 18-24 year olds is as follows:
2. Online purchase
6. Fake check/money order
9. Advance fee loan
10. Credit repair/debt relief
About 19% of employment scams from this age group mentioned schemes involving inspecting or reshipping packages.
“Scam artists are smart,” Ames said. “They know their victims, and you and I might be targeted for the same scam, but they might do it in different ways.”
Online purchase scams made up 29.1% of all reports submitted by 18-24-year-olds, with 81.4% reporting a monetary loss.
“About 43 percent of employment scams reported by this age group included a mention of fake check scams,” said BBB Institute Executive Director Melissa Lanning Trumpower. “Many reported being told to deposit checks into their accounts and then transfer funds to a vendor to pay for training or office equipment. By the time they realized the check was bad, the money was gone. We must make sure young people understand it takes time for checks to clear and to be sure they’re good.”
People ages 18-24 were also more likely to report being targeted by text messages or internet messaging than other age groups. The contact methods with the highest likelihood of a monetary loss included websites and social media.
“You get that strange email you get that strange text message. Take your time and just realize, ‘Hey, is this a legitimate opportunity? Or is it a scam?'” Ames said.
All age groups can respond the same to avoid scams. Check things out. Don’t be pressured into decisions. Never click on links in unsolicited emails or texts.