Young people tend to be biggest prey in money scams

Young people tend to be biggest prey in money scams
Published: Nov. 6, 2023 at 4:03 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - 18-to-24-year-olds will probably say they don’t remember a time when technology wasn’t part of their lives. It’s the way they communicate or receive their information.

Why wouldn’t they use social media and the internet to provide direction as they enter the adult world?

That’s exactly what scammers are counting on.

“They aren’t in person where it would be easier to figure out you’re potentially being scammed,” says Timothy Johnston with the Better Business Bureau. “When it is happening long distance via text, via some type of digital communication; why it’s a lot easier for the scammer to take advantage of somebody.”

A recently released study by the Better Business Bureau shows the top four riskiest scams for 18-to-24-year-olds include: Employment, On-line purchase, Cryptocurrency, and Rental.

Johnston says this makes sense as men and women in this age group are looking for jobs, want to buy things, perhaps don’t understand the intricacies of cryptocurrency, and want to get out on their own and rent an apartment, room, or house.

They can be contacted by an unknown agency saying a job is available. The bogus agency may ask for name, date of birth and social security number.

Identity theft is soon to follow.

That same tactic may be used when offering a non-existent rental.

“What you typically see is this sense of urgency,” says Johnston. “You know I’ve got several people that are interested in this property if you fill out this application now and put down a deposit then we can hold this for you get things moving forward.”

Often targets will be asked to use a cryptocurrency for a deposit, or to purchase something. While that money will go into the cryptocurrency which is accessed by the scammers, the 18-to-24-year-olds will get nothing in return.

Johnston says it’s best to do your research on the company which is offering the job, the rental or the merchandise before handing over money.

On average, these scams are costing 18- to 24-year-olds more than $1,000 per event.