Community News

BBB: Military families, veterans target of scams

Special to Atmore News

Vulnerability to scams is universal. Every segment of the population is susceptible, including businesses. Even the most successful of us can fall victim to the pitfalls of frauds and scams. Barbara Corcoran, the venture capitalist and participant in the hit TV show Shark Tank, just recently found out how easily a scam can happen. Her business fell victim to a Business Email Compromise scam to the tune of $388,000. The best defense for everyone, consumers and businesses, to protect from being a victim is to be informed.
BBB recently released our Scam Tracker Risk Report that analyzed over 37,000 scam reports that were submitted to BBB’s Scam Tracker in 2019. Scam Tracker is a scam reporting and researching tool available to the public for free on The Risk Report breaks down the riskiest scams of the year based off how many victims fell prey to them and how much the average dollar loss was per instance. The report digs deeper though. It delves further into specific demographic groups to determine detailed susceptibility and vulnerability based on your age and gender.
Some highlights of the report show that susceptibility decreases with age but when losses occur, they are larger in the older age groups. The report also shows that while men and women’s susceptibility is almost identical, with men at 35.5 percent and women at 35.7 percent, when there is a loss the loss for men is almost double. The median dollar loss for women was $130 and for men $239.
The most vulnerable group by age was the younger generations. The highest vulnerability by age was the 18-24-year-olds at 45.3 percent, but their median loss was the lowest of any age group at $100.
The overall top 5 riskiest scams of 2019, according to the report, were employment scams; cryptocurrency scams; online purchase scams; fake check / money order scams; advance fee loan scams.
When digging into the senior demographic group, we found some interesting trends. The top 3 riskiest scams for military families and veterans in 2019 were online purchase scams (service members), employment scams (military spouses), and travel / vacation / timeshare scams (veterans).