Study: Millenials more vulnerable to con artists than older adults

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LOS ANGELES — “It hurts a lot. It’s one of the biggest life lessons. It wasn’t easy.”

David Sigman of Los Angeles says he never thought he would fall victim to a scam.

“I was shaking. I felt violated. I was really beside myself, but mostly because I let myself down.”

The 29-year-old needed money so he signed up to “mystery-shop” local business and review their customer service. The company he found online seemed legit, paying him a small fee for the first couple of jobs. Then in January he got a bigger assignment to evaluate money transfer businesses by cashing a check the company sent him then wiring the money back to them.

“A couple of hours later after taking all that money out, I got a call from Wells Fargo saying the check was fraudulent, and I was on the hook for $2,900.”

Fake check fraud can hit anyone, but a new Scam Risk Report from the Better Business Bureau shows it’s one of the most frequent tricks played on millennials – those age 25 to 34.

On top of that, the Federal Trade Commission found twice as many millennials who reported fraud in 2017 lost money as did people over 60.

Monica Vaca is with the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

“Older people have become more vigilant, are able to recognize these things,” she said.

While older people were more likely to become victims of phone scams, the BBB reports younger people – as might be expected – were “more likely to fall for” online scams on social media or the internet.

One interesting thing to note: when older people did lose money, they lost more: a median $621 for those in their 70s, as opposed to a median $400 for those in their 20s.