Special to The Banner News
Employment scams are now the second riskiest, according to a new report from the Better Business Bureau. Employment scam reports submitted to BBB Scam TrackerSM were up 23.1 percent from 2021 to 2022.
The median dollar loss of $1,500 for employment scams is significantly higher than the overall median dollar loss of $171 for all scam types.
Online purchase (shopping) scams remained the #1 riskiest scam type in 2022. Cryptocurrency scams dropped in 2022, from second to third riskiest because of a decline in reported scams, susceptibility (the percentage of those who lose money when exposed to a scam), and median dollar loss. Romance scams reappeared on the list this year, rising from #14 in 2021 to #7 in 2022 because of an increase in reports and a higher median dollar loss.
The five most risky scams in 2022 were:
- Online Purchase Scams
- Home Improvement
- Advance Fee Loans
Key findings of the report include:
- More people reported losing money when targeted by a website, social media, or email than other contact methods.
- Those who were targeted in-person reported losing the largest amount of money ($715), followed by text message ($579) and phone ($550).
- Text message scams increased 39.6 percent, up from 12.7 percent in 2022.
- Credit cards remained the most reported payment method with a monetary loss, followed by online payment systems.
- The payment methods with the highest median dollar loss were wire transfer ($2,700), check ($1,277), and cryptocurrency ($1,135).
- The riskiest scam type varied among age groups, with employment scams landing as the #1 riskiest for ages 18 to 34.
- Online purchase scams were again the #1 riskiest for ages 35 to 64. Home improvement scams were the #1 riskiest for ages 65+.
- Military consumers (active-duty military, spouses, and veterans) reported significantly higher median financial losses ($238) than non-military consumers ($163). Active-duty military reported losing significantly more money ($490) than military spouses ($248) and veterans ($200).
- The five most impersonated organizations reported to BBB Scam Tracker in 2022: Amazon, Geek Squad, Publishers Clearing House, U.S. Postal Service, and Norton. (A list of the top 15 is provided in the report.)