SuperTalk Mississippi

New study dispels “grandma stereotype” when it comes to scams

JACKSON, MISS– A new study by the Better Business Bureau has revealed that millennials are more likely to be scammed–not the elderly as previously thought. 

The BBB confirmed that fact through a study called Cracking the Invulnerability Illusion: Stereotypes, Optimism Bias, and the Way Forward Marketplace Scam Education.

Data showed that the 25-34 age range was scammed more often in the year 2015.

“There’s been a shift toward the millennials being victims and for higher dollar amounts,” said John O’Hara, CEO for Better Business Bureau serving Mississippi.

The study showed that millennials are falling prey more often to scams because the “snake-oil salesman” style of door-to-door fraud has reduced, and fraudsters are taking to social media for their heist.

“It’s easy to take pictures of items from other websites, create a fake site, then sell the item but never ship it,” said O’Hara. “That’s what we see a lot of.”

The cons play off of the desire to belong and the humanity of those engaging in social media.

“Everyone wants to be part of something, or help with something,” said O’Hara. “So there’s a crowd-funding campaign online to raise money for say flood victims. It is easy for them (scammers) to create a fake campaign and keep the money.”


Even though the numbers have been higher for millennials, O’Hara explained that anyone is at risk for an online scam.

“You’ve got to take your time,” said O’Hara. “Research the place where you’re about to donate money. Check to see if the website is secured. Do your homework before you make an online purchase. If you do get scammed, report it. That’s how we’ll slow down and hopefully stop these scammers.”

The BBB has a tool called “Scam Tracker” to help consumers report scam activity. For more information about the scam tracker, visit the BBB website.

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