BBB Releases 2023 Scam Tracker Risk Report

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Better Business Bureau is a proud partner of the Federal Trade Commission’s National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), a time to help people understand their consumer rights and avoid frauds and scams. To commemorate NCPW, March 3rd-9th, Better Business Bureau released its 2023 Scam Tracker Risk Report.

According to the report, investment scams, including those involving cryptocurrency, are now the riskiest scam type. More than 80 percent of people targeted by this scam type reported losing money to BBB Scam Tracker. It also had the second-highest median dollar loss at $3,800.

Investment scams take many forms, including pressure to purchase, trade, or store digital assets (cryptocurrency) with fraudulent exchanges.

Employment scam reports remained the second riskiest scam type in 2023. Reports increased 54.2% from the year before. Employment scams had a median dollar loss of $1,995, significantly higher than the overall median dollar loss of $100 reported for all scam types.

Online purchase (shopping) scams dropped from the riskiest scam type for the first time since 2019, landing at number 3 on the list. This year, 41.9% of scams submitted to BBB Scam Tracker were online purchase scams, and 82.6% reported losing money. The median dollar lost for this scam dropped from $100 in 2022 to $71 in 2023.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Scams perpetrated online continued to grow, making up 68.4% of all reports. More concerning, online scams were more likely to result in a reported monetary loss than in person or via phone.
  • Overall reported susceptibility (the percentage of reports with a monetary loss) rose 27.8% from 2022 to 2023. Overall, the reported median dollar loss fell by 41.5%.
  • For the second year in a row, people ages 18-24 reported the highest median dollar loss of all age groups ($155).
  • The percentage of people who reported engaging with a scammer via social media rose 63.8% from 2022 to 2023.
  • Credit cards remained the most reported payment method with a monetary loss, followed by bank account debit and online payment systems. Reports of bank account debit with a monetary loss increased 66.4%.
  • Employment scams were the No. 1 riskiest for ages 18-44. Investment/cryptocurrency scams were No. 1 riskiest for ages 45+.
  • According to our survey research, people between the ages of 18 and 44 named anxiety/stress as the number one emotion they felt after being targeted by a scam. In contrast, people 45+ cited anger as the number one emotion.