BBB: Veterans, service members, military spouses more likely to lose money to scammers

Local News

A member of the military at a computer keyboard, 2020 (Nexstar, file)

(WFRV) – Service members, military spouses, and veterans all reported having higher likelihoods of losing money to scammers, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

A recent study conducted by the BBB found that veterans reported a median loss of $133, military spouses reported a median $132 loss, and active duty service members reported a median loss of $269 – all of which were reportedly higher than the $115 median loss reported across all consumers in 2020.

“Historically, we’ve seen higher median losses reported by the military community,” says Melissa Trumpower, BBB Institute Executive Director. “2020 was the first year, however, that we also saw higher rates of military consumers losing money to fraudsters.”

The BBB shared that the study discovered that the likelihood of loss reported across all consumers was 46.4 percent with veterans reporting a slightly higher likelihood of loss at 46.8 percent, and military families reporting the highest likelihoods of loss at 50.8 percent for military spouses.

“The biggest factor contributing to these higher likelihoods of loss across the board was the increase of online purchase scams and scams perpetrated online in general,” says Trumpower. “Considering most people made online purchases more often than they normally would in 2020, this was an expected shift that is nonetheless alarming…”

BBB adds that for service members and veterans, online purchases of pets and pet supplies scams were the riskiest scam type. The riskiest scam for military spouses in 2020 was reportedly employment scams.

“We continue to work with our partners to combat scams that target the military and share prevention messaging through BBBs serving communities throughout North America,” Trumpower said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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