These are the 8 biggest scams people are most likely to fall for online
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- A new study sheds light on the channels through which scammers are raking in the most money.
- Fraudulent online purchases, fake tech support schemes, and employment scams are among the most successful methods of online grifting.
- The median losses reported by survey respondents was $600.
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One in 10 adults in the US will fall victim to fraud every year. That figure is only rising, and it jumped by 34% in 2018, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The vast majority of that fraud takes place online.
A new study conducted by the Better Business Bureau, FINRA, and the Stanford Center for Longevity sheds light on the channels through which scammers are raking in the most money, based on interviews with 1,408 consumers who submitted tips to the BBB between 2015 and 2018. The median losses reported by respondents was $600.
The study shows that about half of people who were contacted by scammers did not engage, detecting the fraud immediately. Meanwhile, 30% of respondents engaged and did not lose money, while 23% engaged and lost money to a scammer.
While scammers most frequently contacted potential victims using phone and email, relatively few people lost money from phone and email scams compared to scams on other platforms. By contrast, 91% of targets who were contacted by scammers over social media engaged, and 53% lost money. Similarly, 81% of respondents who encountered fraud via a website engaged, and 50% lost money.
Here are the scams that people fall for online, according to the study's findings, ranked from least to most likely to separate victims from their money.
8. Fake tax collection scams
7. Phishing scams
6. Fake debt collection scams
5. Phony sweepstakes, lotteries, and prizes
4. Fake checks or money orders
3. Employment scams
2. Fake tech support scams
1. Online purchase scams
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