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Better Business Bureau highlights ‘riskiest' scams of 2016

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 20:22:14-05

DENVER – Scammers continued to fool people out of thousands of dollars last year, according to the Better Business Bureau.

In its annual ‘Scam Tracker’ risk report, the BBB said it received 32,781 scam reports nationwide last year. Of those reports, 18.8 percent involved the loss of money for a median of $274 lost.

The riskiest of those scams—those in which the scammer is most likely to fool you out of money—were home improvement scams, the BBB said. These often involve door-to-door solicitors who take money but don’t do any work or those who do bad work or continually find new issues that increase the cost of a project.

Other high-risk scams included fake checks, phony job listings, online purchases and advance fee loans.

Nearly a quarter of all the scams occurred over the phone, according to the BBB report. Other common communication methods included websites, email and social media.

Contrary to the belief that the elderly tend to be the easiest victims for scammers, the BBB found the highest rate of susceptibility in the 18-24 age range. However, those in the 65 and older age range who did fall victim to scams were likely to lose more money, with a median of $390 lost.

Younger victims tended to fall for fake check and employment scams while older people tended to fall victim to home improvement and fake family/friend emergency scams.

For more information or to report a scam, log on to bbb.org/scamtracker.

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