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MANSFIELD – People ages 18-24 reported losing more money to scams than older age groups, according to a new report published by the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute), the International Association of Better Business Bureaus’ educational foundation.

Targeting our youth: How scams are impacting ages 18-24 highlights scam types, tactics, and trends based on data submitted to BBB Scam Tracker between Jan. 1, 2022, and June 24, 2023.

Riskiest scams

Employment scams continue to be the riskiest scams for ages 18-24, making up almost 30% of scams reported by this age group to BBB Scam Tracker.

This scam type had the highest median dollar loss of all scam types reported by this age group ($1,819).

Riskiest scams for 18-24-year-olds:

1. Employment
2. Online purchase
3. Cryptocurrency
4. Rental
5. Investment
6. Fake check/money order
7. Phishing
8. Romance
9. Advance fee loan
10. Credit repair/debt relief

“It’s important that we spread awareness about employment scams, especially to younger people,” said BBB Institute Executive Director Melissa Lanning Trumpower. “About 43 percent of employment scams reported by this age group included a mention of fake check scams.

“Many reported being told to deposit checks into their accounts and then transfer funds to a vendor to pay for training or office equipment. By the time they realized the check was bad, the money was gone.

“We must make sure young people understand it takes time for checks to clear and to be sure they’re good.”

About 19% of employment scams from this age group mentioned schemes involving inspecting or reshipping packages.

Online purchase scams made up 29.1 percent of all reports submitted by 18-24-year-olds, with 81.4% reporting a monetary loss.

Contact method

Ages 18-24 were more likely to report being targeted by text message or internet
messaging than other age groups.

The contact methods with the highest likelihood of a monetary loss (susceptibility) included websites and social media.

The contact methods with the highest reported median dollar loss were phone call, text message and in person.

This group reported a higher percentage of scams targeting them on Instagram and X (Twitter) than other age groups.

Payment method

Ages 18-24 reported a higher percentage of scams via online payment systems and bank account debit.

The payment methods for this age group with the highest median dollar loss were wire transfer ($2,150), check ($1,500) and cryptocurrency ($1,200).

About the Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust for more than 110 years.

In 2022, people turned to BBB more than 250 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on about 12,000 charities, all available for free at

The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute) is the BBB’s educational foundation, whose mission is to educate and protect consumers, promote best practices for businesses, and solve complex marketplace problems.

BBB Institute’s consumer educational programs are delivered both digitally and in-person by Better Business Bureaus serving communities across the U.S. and Canada.

You can find more information about BBB Institute and its programs at

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