People ages 18-24 reported losing more money to scams than older age groups, according to Carl Bates, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central and South Alabama. A new national report focusing on ages 18-24 highlights scam types, tactics, and trends based on data submitted to BBB Scam Tracker between January 1, 2022, and June 24, 2023. The report was published by the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute), the International Association of Better Business Bureaus’ educational foundation. The report was based on data submitted to BBB Scam Tracker between January 1, 2022, and June 24, 2023.
Here is what the report found:
Employment scams continue to be the riskiest scams for ages 18-24, making up almost 30% of scams reported by this age group to BBB Scam Tracker. This scam type had the highest median dollar loss of all scam types reported by this age group ($1,819).
Riskiest scams for 18-24-year-olds:
- Online purchase
- Fake check/money order
- Advance fee loan
- Credit repair/debt relief
The report found that about 43 percent of employment scams reported by this age group included a mention of fake check scams, Bates said. “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, it was too late. We must make sure young people understand it takes time for checks to clear and to be sure they’re good.”
About 19% of employment scams from this age group mentioned schemes involving inspecting or reshipping packages.
Online purchase scams made up 29.1 percent of all reports submitted by 18-24-year-olds, with 81.4% reporting a monetary loss.
Not surprising, the method of contact was by phone or computer. Ages 18-24 were more likely to report being targeted by text message or internet messaging than other age groups. The contact methods with the highest likelihood of a monetary loss (susceptibility) included website and social media. The contact methods with the highest reported median dollar loss were phone call, text message, and in person, according to the report.
This group reported a higher percentage of scams targeting them on Instagram and X (Twitter) than other age groups.
Bates said young folks need to be aware of the types of payment method involved. Ages 18-24 reported a higher percentage of scams via online payment system and bank account debit. The payment methods for this age group with the highest median dollar loss were wire transfer ($2,150), check ($1,500), and cryptocurrency ($1,200).