New BBB study says young adults, not elderly, most vulnerable to - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

New BBB study says young adults, not elderly, most vulnerable to scams

Dick Eppstein, BBB (Source: WTOL) Dick Eppstein, BBB (Source: WTOL)
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

Stereotypes have been shattered in a new Better Business Bureau report on scams and it’s surprising about who is really the most vulnerable.

The study was completed with input from more than 2,000 adults in the U.S. and Canada, asking them about their perceived vulnerability to scams and who they think is mostly likely to be scammed.

The study reported that one in every four households falls victim to a scam each year. And of those surveyed, only 11 percent of seniors were scammed. But 18 to 24 year-olds were three times more likely than seniors to fall for one.
 
Most of the phone calls into the BBB office in Sylvania Township aren't coming from the elderly. They've heard so many warnings about scams that they now know what to watch out for.

“Consumers are being cheated from one end of the country to the other,” said Dick Eppstein, President of the Better Business Bureau of Northwest Ohio.

And 34 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds who reported being scammed, said they lost money.

The new study says those 18 to 24 year-olds have an Invulnerability Illusion, that they are too smart and savvy to become a victim.

The problem is that there are so many ways to target millennials in the form of Craigslist scams, student loan scams, apartment scams, and bogus ads on
social media, like Twitter and Facebook.

“What we see is that the hackers get into Facebook, they hack someone's identity, which is very easy, and then send messages to all of their friends and they say this a great opportunity,” Eppstein said.

Eppstein talked about a call the BBB received a few days ago about a work at home scam advertised on Facebook.

“Well when they got on the phone and called their friend, the friend said what? What are you talking about? I never sent you anything.”

The survey says scam victims just don't understand what's out there and they need to be educated.

Following the BBB on Twitter is one way and consumers can also ask questions on the live chat.option on their website.

“We've always tried to do as much consumer education as we can, but what this story tells us is, what this survey tells us is, we've got to redouble our efforts to reach the young people and stop this notion that you're too smart to be cheated. Because anybody can be cheated,” Eppstein said.

Consumers can also read over their Scam Tracker on their website.

“First, stop! Stop! Don't jump into something. Verify it. Trust but verify, President Reagan used to say.”

See the full report here.



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