College age students lose more money to scams in Horry County and America

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (November 1, 2023) – College age students (people ages 18-24) reported losing more money to scams than older age groups, according to a new report published by the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute), the International Association of Better Business Bureaus’ educational foundation. Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Carolinas (BBB) wants you to know what scams target these young adults the most.

Targeting our youth: How scams are impacting ages 18-24 highlights scam types, tactics, and trends based on data submitted to BBB Scam Tracker between January 1, 2022, and June 24, 2023.

Riskiest scams

Employment scams continue to be the riskiest scams for college age students, ages 18-24, making up almost 30% of scams reported by this age group to BBB Scam Tracker. This scam type had the highest median dollar loss of all scam types reported by this age group ($1,819).

Riskiest scam types for consumers aged 18-24:

1.   Employment

2.   Online purchase

3.   Cryptocurrency

4.   Rental

5.   Investment

6.   Fake check/money order

7.   Phishing

8.   Romance

9.   Advance fee loan

10. Credit repair/debt relief

It’s important that we spread awareness about employment scams, especially to younger college age students,” said BBB Institute Executive Director Melissa Lanning Trumpower. “About 43 percent of employment scams reported by this age group included a mention of fake check scams. Many reported being told to deposit checks into their accounts and then transfer funds to a vendor to pay for training or office equipment. By the time they realized the check was bad, the money was gone. We must make sure young people understand it takes time for checks to clear and to be sure they’re good.”

About 19% of employment scams from this age group mentioned schemes involving inspecting or reshipping packages.

Online purchase scams made up 29.1 percent of all reports submitted by 18-24-year-olds, with 81.4% reporting a monetary loss.

Contact method

College age students, ages 18-24, were more likely to report being targeted by text message or internet messaging than other age groups. The contact methods with the highest likelihood of a monetary loss (susceptibility) included websites and social media. The contact methods with the highest reported median dollar loss were phone call, text message, and in person.

This group reported a higher percentage of scams targeting them on Instagram and X (Twitter) than other age groups.

Payment method

Ages 18-24 reported a higher percentage of scams via online payment system and bank account debit. The payment methods for this age group with the highest median dollar loss were wire transfer ($2,150), check ($1,500), and cryptocurrency ($1,200).

For more information

Visit BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust for more education.

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