Better Business Bureau reveals top five scams - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Better Business Bureau reveals top five scams

Photo Source: WDAM Photo Source: WDAM
PINE BELT (WDAM) -

This is a news release from the Better Business Bureau.

There is no doubt that scams have gone high tech, but the riskiest scam is the face-to-face home improvement scam, with fake check scams running a close second, according to the new BBB Risk Index, a sophisticated analysis that goes beyond volume to look at the risk each scam type poses.

The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute) kicked off National Consumer Protection Week (U.S.) and Fraud Awareness Month (Canada) with its inaugural BBB Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, which provides comprehensive insight into scams based on the more than 32,000 reports made to BBB Scam Tracker in 2016.

As with earlier BBB Institute research, there were some real surprises within the data: men were more vulnerable than women in seven of the top ten scam categories; and consumers 18-24 are the most likely to lose money to a scam.

New information uncovered in this analysis is that younger consumers have a lower median loss than people in their top earning years, partly because the types of scams aimed at older consumers tend to have higher median losses. While seniors also tend to lose more money than Millennials when they are scammed, they fall for scams far less often. And the biggest takeaway is that no one is immune from the risk posed by scams.

The BBB Risk Index measures risk along three dimensions:

  • Exposure (how likely are you to be exposed to the con?)
  • Susceptibility (if you are exposed, how likely are you to lose money?) and
  • Monetary loss (if you do lose money, how much is it likely to be?).

Exposure X Susceptibility X Monetary Loss = Risk Index

Based on the BBB Risk Index, the riskiest top five scams overall (U.S. and Canada combined) are:

1.    Home improvement scams 

2.    Fake checks and money orders 

3.    Employment scams 

4.    Online purchase scams

5.    Advance fee loan scams 

The BBB Risk Index is a paradigm shift in how to calculate the true impact of different scams. In the past, virtually all involved organizations used volume alone to create "top scam" lists, but this approach ignored two other equally critical factors: the susceptibility of the population and dollar losses.

For instance, the scam most reported to BBB Scam Tracker in 2016 - by far - was the tax scam. However, consumers are savvy to this con and rarely fall for it, so it did not even make the BBB Risk Index's top ten. Employment scams were three times as risky for consumers as tax scams, and ranked #3 on the BBB Risk Index.

"Scams erode trust in the marketplace, and BBB Scam Tracker was created to advance BBB's mission by protecting consumers and ethical businesses," notes Genie Barton, president of the BBB Institute. "Scammers damage the reputations of the well-respected brands they spoof, and they slow commercial growth by making consumers hesitant to do business online. Every dollar stolen by a scammer is a dollar not spent with a reputable business that has competed fairly to earn those dollars."

Home improvement scams, ranked #1 on the BBB Risk Index, was the only category in the top ten to rely on in-person contact. Because of the highly personal nature of this scam - someone literally at your doorstep - the exposure rate was low but the susceptibility rate and the median loss were both very high, making it the riskiest scam of all.

Fake check scams take on a variety of approaches, but all rely on the fact that consumers assume that when a check "clears" their account and funds are made available, they are in the clear to spend those funds. In fact, it may take several weeks for a fake check to be detected and returned, and that includes cashier's checks and money orders. The BBB Institute also notes that fake checks are used in about 30-40% of employment scams, and appear frequently in other scams, as well. Whenever a consumer is asked to deposit a check and then send funds back out for any reason, that's a big red flag, according to BBB.

Copyright 2017 WDAM. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • WDAM has learned more about the car wreck that killed 20 year old Tyone Clemons.

    More details revealed in wreck that killed EMCC athlete

    More details revealed in wreck that killed EMCC athlete

    Monday, November 20 2017 11:35 PM EST2017-11-21 04:35:30 GMT
    Tyone Clemons. SOURCE: EMCC AthleticsTyone Clemons. SOURCE: EMCC Athletics

    WDAM has learned more about the car wreck that killed 20 year old Tyone Clemons. He was an East Mississippi Community College defensive lineman, and was a former West Jones High School all star athlete. Jessica Bowman was at the scene in Jones County Monday learning more about who Clemons was in the car with and what happened during this deadly accident Saturday morning.  Best Friends, teammates and brothers. That's what best describes 20 year old Tyone Clemons and 19 year old T...

    More >>

    WDAM has learned more about the car wreck that killed 20 year old Tyone Clemons. He was an East Mississippi Community College defensive lineman, and was a former West Jones High School all star athlete. Jessica Bowman was at the scene in Jones County Monday learning more about who Clemons was in the car with and what happened during this deadly accident Saturday morning.  Best Friends, teammates and brothers. That's what best describes 20 year old Tyone Clemons and 19 year old T...

    More >>
  • Over 400 auto burglaries in Hattiesburg, HPD turns to technology to help

    Over 400 auto burglaries in Hattiesburg, HPD turns to technology to help

    Monday, November 20 2017 11:02 PM EST2017-11-21 04:02:19 GMT
    Photo credit: WDAMPhoto credit: WDAM

    So far, in 2017 the Hattiesburg Police Department has recorded 454 auto burglaries in the Hub City. MOBILE USERS WATCH LIVE HERE An auto burglary is considered a “Part 1 Offense,” and it’s one thing the police department is setting their sights on reducing. “Any citizen of Hattiesburg should be able to go to the actual local shopping center and go there and not have to worry about their vehicle getting broken in to," said Hattiesburg Police De...

    More >>

    So far, in 2017 the Hattiesburg Police Department has recorded 454 auto burglaries in the Hub City. MOBILE USERS WATCH LIVE HERE An auto burglary is considered a “Part 1 Offense,” and it’s one thing the police department is setting their sights on reducing. “Any citizen of Hattiesburg should be able to go to the actual local shopping center and go there and not have to worry about their vehicle getting broken in to," said Hattiesburg Police De...

    More >>
  • USM blasts Blue Mountain, 90-46

    USM blasts Blue Mountain, 90-46

    Monday, November 20 2017 10:30 PM EST2017-11-21 03:30:48 GMT
    Photo credit: USMPhoto credit: USM

    The University of Southern Mississippi opened play in the Sanford Pentagon Showcase Monday night about 1,100 miles from the site of the round-robin tournament’s next three rounds. 

    More >>

    The University of Southern Mississippi opened play in the Sanford Pentagon Showcase Monday night about 1,100 miles from the site of the round-robin tournament’s next three rounds. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly