BBB Releases List of Riskiest Scams
According to the BBB Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, which provides in-depth analysis on data from more than 32,000 reported scams in 2016, the top five riskiest scams are are:
- Home improvement scams
- Fake checks and money orders
- Employment scams
- Online purchase scams
- Advance fee loan scams
Differing from previous scam reports which reported top scams by volume, the new risk index categorizes scams according to consumer exposure, susceptibility and monetary loss. Prior reports have primarily focused on the most-reported scams, despite few people actually falling for them.
The risk index report revealed that men were more vulnerable than women in seven of the top ten scam categories, and consumers aged 18 to 24 were more likely to lose money in a scam. Younger consumers were found to have lower median losses than seniors, but seniors fell for scams less often than their Millennial counterparts.
“Scams erode trust in the marketplace, and BBB Scam Tracker was created to advance BBB’s mission by protecting consumers and ethical businesses,” notes Genie Barton, president of the BBB Institute. “Scammers damage the reputations of the well-respected brands they spoof, and they slow commercial growth by making consumers hesitant to do business online. Every dollar stolen by a scammer is a dollar not spent with a reputable business that has competed fairly to earn those dollars.”
The BBB advises all consumers and businesses to report scams to the BBB Scam Tracker, whether or not any money is lost.