Youngest adults, not grandma, most at risk for scams, BBB finds

Online purchases most prevalent ripoffs of 2020

SAN ANTONIO – If you think trusting grandmas are the typical scam targets nowadays, think again. Think younger.

“Now, our younger 18- to 24-year-olds with technology in their hands, who grew up with technology, are at as high or higher risk as our senior consumers,” said Jason Meza, regional director of the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB’s Scam Tracker risk report showed a significant shift last year. The report showed the youngest adults may be tech savvy, but in 2020, they let their guard down scrolling through social media, apps and websites. And, scammers knew where to find them.

“They are fishing where the fish are and getting more people that way,” Meza said.

Cons also knew shoppers’ habits shifted last year as they stayed home much more. As a result, more than 38% of the BBB scam reports for 2020 involved online purchases. The biggest spikes in sinister sales involved PPE and even pets as people looked for companionship.

To protect yourself at any age, consumer advocates say buy only from people and websites you know and be sure they are the real deal, independently verify social media offers, be cautious of unrequested offers and use a credit card for better protections if something goes wrong.

About the Authors

Marilyn Moritz is an award-winning journalist dedicated to digging up information that can make people’s lives a little bit better. As KSAT’S 12 On Your Side Consumer reporter, she focuses on exposing scams and dangerous products and helping people save money.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.

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