Scammers See New Opportunities in Defrauding Younger, Less Experienced Age Groups
The BBB’s 2022 Scam Tracker℠ Risk Report found that students were slightly more likely to lose money in a scam than non-students. The report also found that people aged 18-24 reported the highest median dollar loss of all age groups in 2022. The report attributes this to several factors, including students' lack of experience with financial transactions, their tendency to be more trusting of others, and their need for money.
Scams are on the rise for a new age group, 18- to 24-year-olds. The BBB's Pamela Hernandez recently spoke with KRPS's Fred Fletcher-Fierro about why scammers are pivoting from Seniors to college students.
For years, scams targeting seniors were the highest number of reported scams to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.
Scammers have now turned their primary focus to college students between the ages of 18 and 24.
KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.
Fraud targeting older residents is nothing new. Two of the top senior scams are the Grandparent Scam where fraudsters claim a grandchild is in trouble and the Government imposter scam where someone claiming to work for a well-known government agency attempts to get seniors' personal information.
Recently, the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker has seen an increase in the number of scams targeting 18-24-year-olds who often have less experience with credit and finances.
Many of them are also trying to navigate new parts of their lives like loans, scholarships, or budgeting. Regional Director of the BBB, Pamela Hernandez in Springfield, Missouri says scammers are wrapping new scams into new names.
“Cryptocurrency is kind of an interesting topic because it’s a new tool into an old scam. So for example an online shopping scam or an investment scam.
There’s more opportunity with folks being online more. But what we’ve seen a lot of is scams we’ve seen for years but it’s another method of payment that you can’t get back, like a wire transfer.”
According to the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, 11,904 cases of federal student loan fraud were reported in 2022.
The FTC also reported that people under the age of 30 lost nearly $525 million to fraud last year.
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