NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Scrolling. Liking. Browsing. Buying. Simply done with a swipe of your finger … and swindlers couldn’t be happier, explained the President of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee.
“No longer is it the 70-year-olds who get targeted — at all — because quite frankly, they’re not on smart devices all day long,” said Robyn Householder, President/CEO, BBB of Middle Tennessee.
The most recent BBB scam tracker report shows the largest group to fall prey in the first half of 2021 were 18-24-year-olds… losing on average $125 per scam.
“That’s the group that assumes things happen fast, so they’re more likely to click, to click, to click, to click,” added Householder.
Each time leaving a digital trail of what interests them– providing a personalized road map for fraudsters leading straight to wallets. But it’s not only affecting young shoppers — if you’re on social media– you’re fair game.
“They’re able to identify who you are, and what you’re looking for, and target you with fake products, fake pricing, and more often than not, simply nothing,” said Householder.
That’s exactly what happened to Middle Tennessee resident Erica Burton, who was on the hunt for seasonal decorations.
“I got the Instagram ad on my feed, when I clicked the link, I saw the website, I saw that they had like, reviews and everything. And I was like, okay, so it seems legit,” explained Burton.
She placed her order and unexplainable communications followed
“It said it was stuck in China, it was stuck in customs. So it took over four weeks to get to me. And then they kept sending me a tracking in Chinese,” said Burton.
And then what arrived, was not what Burton was expecting.
“It looked like wheat. Some of the parts were broken. Like, I’m just definitely gonna argue for that. I’m not paying $80 per wheat.”
But are social media sites responsible to protect users from scammers?
“You know, I think they do their best. but as quickly as they’re able to block something, something new comes up. Really, it’s up to the consumer to safeguard themselves,” said Householder.
“A legitimate company is going to give you everything you need to feel comfortable shopping.”
Scammers are trying new ways to steal your money throughout Middle Tennessee. Ahead of the holidays, protecting your funds is incredibly important. News 2 investigates the new tactics scammers are using now and how to best protect yourself from the bad guys. Watch special reports all day Thursday in every newscast and on WKRN.com.