CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It may seem like there's a new scam out every day, and many of them are online. But a new report from the Better Business Bureau says the riskiest scams still happen face-to-face.
Who gets fooled the most may surprise you -- Cleveland 19 hears of a lot of scams targeting the elderly, but it turns out people ages 18 to 24 are the most likely to lose money.
The BBB says the more you know, the more you can be prepared.
After combing through more than 32,000 reported scams, the bureau has identified the riskiest scams and who falls for them. The top five riskiest scams overall are home improvement, fake checks and money order scams, employment, online purchase, and advance fee loan scams.
"If you really need work done on your home look for local companies," said Sue McConnell, with the BBB. "Get estimates, references. You pick the company, don't let them pick you."
Men are more likely than women to fall for scams. And they also lose more money. According to the BBB report, men on average lose $361 and women lose $249.
But the stakes can be much higher.
Cleveland 19 recently interviewed a man who lost $30,000 in a romance scam online.
"I don't know what it is, if I'm a sucker at heart, she was saying all the right things," the man, who did not wish to be identified, told Cleveland 19.
The top way a scammer will try to contact you is over the phone, through a website, or by email, says the BBB.
The top payment scammers ask for are credit cards, wire transfers, or a bank account.
Elderly people who fall for scams are more likely to lose the most money.
The report even highlights which scam each age group falls for the most.
People ages 18 to 24 are most likely to fall for a fake check. Those 25 to 34 are most likely to fall for employment scams. People 35 to 44 are most likely to fall for investment scams, and those ages 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 fall for home improvement scams. Those 65 and older tend to fall for family or friend emergency scams.