GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Better Business Bureau has released its list of schemes netting scammers the biggest windfalls, and there’s a new winner in the top spot: employment scams.
“These are job offers that want either your information or your money in some form,” said Troy Baker, communications director for the BBB Serving Western Michigan.
Employment scams soared to the top of the BBB’s 10 Riskiest Scams of 2018 list.
Baker says most employment scams come through the internet.
“They come to you and say, ‘We have a job for you,’ usually a work from home job for you to do. ‘Just send us this information,’ and eventually they end up asking you for money, usually for equipment, uniform for something,” explained Baker.
BBB based its riskiest scam rankings on how likely people are to fall victim and how much money they lose when they do.
When it comes to who they victimize, employment scammers don’t discriminate. BBB numbers show employment scams were the riskiest scheme in three of the six age groups, for men and women, and the riskiest for military families, veterans, students.
After employment scams comes some old familiar cons on the BBB’s list of Riskiest Scams of 2018:
- Employment (Median loss: $1,204)
- Online purchases (Median loss: $75)
- Fake checks/money orders (Median loss: $1,500)
- Home improvement (Median loss: $1,745)
- Advance fee loans (Median loss: $675)
- Romance (Median loss: $2,500)
- Tech support (Median loss: $403)
- Investment (Median loss: $1,965)
- Travel/vacation (Median loss: $1,875)
- Government grant (Median loss: $600)
When it comes to opportunities and deals that seem just too good to be true, Baker says it’s best to take a closer look.
“Do your research. Look online, go to BBB.org, go to Google find out what you can about this organization. You’ll probably start seeing red flags,” said Baker.