ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A rise in complaints involving social media sales scams on the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker point to a shift in demographic targeting, according to Abilene BBB CEO John Riggins.
“Lately, what statistics are telling us is that the millennial generation is getting scammed more than anybody else,” Riggins said.
Riggins said the generation that grew up alongside the internet is prone to be more comfortable with online shopping. This often makes them more susceptible to these cyber scammers.
“Oh absolutely, scammers, by nature, they’re gonna have to go where the money is. And so somebody who’s more comfortable ordering things with their debit card, well you don’t really know who you’re doing business with unless you know that business and you’ve looked up their background,” Riggins explained.
Abilene resident Lindsay Bogner said she’s had her debit card information stolen twice in the past two years, even though she considers herself a savvy online shopper.
“I don’t click on any links. I double check the names and the companies,” Bogner said.
Even with her safety measures, a slew of messages somehow ended up putting her and her financial information in a vulnerable spot.
“The E-mail that I received looked identical to theirs. Very, very similar, so I called them to ask them like, ‘Is this request’ and they said no,” Bogner recalled.
Comments from the Scam Tracker show signs of another scam popping up among Facebook re-sellers. One person reporting an evasive seller leaving them with less than they hoped.
“I seen the advertisement on Facebook and I thought they were legit, so I ordered from several of these companies… Later found out they were the same company, just changes their name several times, after ordering I waited seven to ten days, but didn’t receive anything so I contacted the merchants and they assured me they had been shipped and when I did receive my orders they were not what I ordered,” They explained.
Still, another victim reported a bait and switch scam that promised Christmas fun, but delivered no such thing.
“I saw a advertisement on Facebook about magical Christmas trees, I knew my grand babies would love it so I purchased one said it would be delivered in seven to ten business days. I didn’t receive it, so I contacted the merchant, they said it had been delivered, in the next few days I received a fake ring with the same tracking number as the Christmas tree,” they explained. “I then contacted the merchant again and told them I received the wrong order, he tried to assure me that I hadn’t, I tried to explain to him that I had received the wrong item, then I received and email from the merchant apologizing for the mix up but still refused to make it right.”
Riggins said the best defense against sales or fraudulent account scams is to check with the seller or business directly before putting up any money or clicking on any links. Any encounters that seem suspicions can be reported to the BBB Scam tracker to help build a case and make sure the scam is addressed before anyone else is affected.