The Better Business Bureau gathered data on the most notorious scams and their victims based on the BBB Risk Index.
While there is no doubt high tech scams have become “viral,” the riskiest scam is the face-to-face home improvement scam. The BBB’s Risk Index analysis looked past how often a scam is happening and dug deeper into the threat it poses.
They found that younger consumers have a lower average loss than people in top earning years. This is mostly due to the fact that scams are aimed at older consumers who tend to make more money. However, seniors fall for scams less than Millennials.
Surprisingly, men were more vulnerable than women in the top seven scam categories and consumers 18-24 lost the most money to scams.
The Risk Index considers three dimensions:
- Exposure (how likely are you to be exposed to the con?)
- Susceptibility (If you are exposed, how likely are you to lose money?)
- Monetary Loss (If you do lose money, how much is it likely to be?)
The top five riskiest scams overall are:
- Home improvement scams
- Fake checks and money orders
- Employment scams
- Online purchase scams
- Advance fee loan scams
The scam most reported by the BBB in 2016 was the tax scams. But people are becoming more aware of this con and are falling for it much less so it didn’t even make the top 10 this year.
“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 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.”
Home improvement scams, number one, was the only category ranked that relied on person to person contact.
For the full BBB Risk Index report click HERE.