Dispatches From Scammerland: Statistics

You know how they say there are lies, damned lies, and statistics? Well, recently some statistics gathered by eight different BBBs got me to wondering.

You see, we’re tracking calls from people who report receiving scams or frauds in the mail, on the phone, and in their email. Here’s what we found:

The reporting BBBs are in Virginia, Texas, Washington state, Arizona, Idaho and California.

More consumers in the 45-55 age bracket and the 66+ age bracket called the BBB than those in any other age categories. This could mean that scammers are targeting older people, or that more older people know about the BBB than younger ones. Or both

The major scam categories:
• Nigerian Money Exchange
• Robocalls Offering to Lower Your Credit Card Payments/Interest
• Sweepstakes/Foreign Lotteries
• Work From Home
• Grants
• Debt Relief/Debt Collections

Fifty-eight percent of this week’s callers were female.

A large majority of the scams this week came in via phone, with email and mail a distant second in about the same amounts. Almost none of the scams took place using face-to-face contact.

A big red flag they have in common: They want you to pay money.

Foreign lotteries want you to wire money for “taxes, fees, or insurance” on your “winnings.” Grant scams want your money so they can “release your grant.” This is not the way a legitimate lottery or funder operates.

If you receive a suspicious call, email, or letter, contact your local BBB at www.bbb.org.

money11 150x150 Dispatches From Scammerland: Statistics

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About Holly Doering

Holly Doering has worked for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana for half a decade. Her areas of expertise include the CORE Values Program (Character, Optimism, Respect, Ethics) for Teens and Charity Review as well as writing and editing. Prior to that, she has written for two newspapers, a local magazine, and taught English at the community college. She is the proud author of a short story in ZYZZYVA literary magazine and has had good luck publishing lots of poetry. Each year she rolls up her sleeves and wades into the autumn Nanowrimo writing madness and has several unfinished novels to her credit.