MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An astounding 50,559 scams were reported to Better Business Bureaus across the country in 2018.
Of those, 567 scam reports were related to the Mid-South. They were either reported by someone in the Mid-South area or the alleged scammer was in the Mid-South.
The BBB released its annual Risk Report Wednesday which revealed details about the latest scams, how people fall for them, and who falls for them.
The report states the riskiest scam of 2018 had to do with employment opportunities.
“A job offer comes with high pay and options to work remotely and with flexible hours. To get the job, a candidate must complete personal, sensitive information and may be required to ‘purchase equipment’ with parts of the proceeds of what turns out to be a fake check,” the report reads.
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The second riskiest scam was online purchase scams, where a buyer makes a purchase online from an individual seller or company, but the item never arrives.
Or in other cases, a person sells an item online, but the check received for the payment is fake, the report states. Online purchase scams are the second riskiest across the United States but the number one reported scam in the Mid-South.
These scams are followed by fake checks and money orders, bogus home improvement offers, and advance fee loans.
A surprising finding in the report is who is got scammed the most in 2018.
“The people who are most susceptible to fall for these scams are actually Millennials,” said Nancy Crawford with the Mid-South BBB. “Senior citizens have been told for so long to watch out for scams and be weary of things, that they have better ability to point those out,” she said.
It’s no secret to scammers that thanks to their jobs and a demanding social life, most Millennials are glued to technology.
“It’s because they have those devices in their hands. Smartphones, tablets… 24 hours a day, and they’re used to responding instantly, and crooks know this,” Crawford explained.
Research shows susceptibility decreases with age, but when losses occur, they’re higher in the older age groups.
In 2018, the total number of reports increased by 5.7 percent.
Susceptibility increased by 86.7 percent, which Crawford partially attributes to people spoofing phone numbers and defrauding customers.
Cox Media Group