There are many misconceptions about scams, several of which help scammers steal not only money, but also personal information. To help consumers understand the reality around scams, Better Business Bureau (BBB) shares five common myths along with resources to stay safe.
BBB gathers information on scams through BBB Scam Tracker, an online tool where the public can share and view scams happening all over the U.S. Every year, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust releases statistics gathered from information provided through BBB Scam Tracker.
BBB shares five common myths about scams:
Identifying a scam or scammer is easy - Most scammers are adept at manipulation and the scams they perpetrate are elaborate. Scammers put up a facade to make consumers believe they are legitimate and the internet can make it easier to operate undetected. As soon as detection occurs, most scammers change their name and start the operation all over again. In reality, scams and scammers can be hard to detect.
Mostly elderly and uneducated people fall for scams - Believing scams are someone else’s issue can be dangerous. At some point, everyone is a potential target. Almost 70 percent of scam victims are under the age of 45, and of those victims, almost 80 percent hold a college or graduate degree. The truth is, anyone can be a victim.
Economically, scams don’t really affect the community - According to a report from BBB’s Institute for Marketplace Trust, one in five victims will lose money to a scammer this year and the estimated monetary loss for victims is $50 billion. In the end, money lost to scammers is money that could be spent supporting ethical businesses, nonprofits, and our community.
No one can protect themselves from scammers - Sixty percent of victims reported that not knowing about a scam and the techniques used by scammers contributed to them falling for the scam. Of consumers who reported a scam to BBB, 80 percent claimed that being aware of a specific scam helped them avoid falling victim. As some say, knowledge is power and knowing about scams can protect consumers.
Reporting a scam won’t help - Actually, reporting scams makes a difference. Half of those who take time to report scams do so to warn others. Reporting a scam to BBB’s Scam Tracker can help others learn about scams happening in their area.
About BBB of Central, Northern & Western Arizona
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and 11,000 charities, all available free at bbb.org. Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona serves 10 counties through its campuses in Phoenix, Lake Havasu City, Prescott and Yuma, supported by over 11,500 BBB Accredited Businesses. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to high standards of ethical business practices. BBB provides objective advice, free business reviews and charity reports, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.