Better Business Bureau Supports Vulnerable Populations through Consumer Fraud Awareness Program
submitted by: Maryanne P. Dailey, M.A. NCDRC Certified Mediator, Senior Vice President Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont and Western North Carolina
Older adults, military families and veterans, and the Latino communities have long been recognized as being at increased risk of being targeted by scammers. Through education and awareness, Better Business Bureau works diligently to help prevent these vulnerable populations from becoming victims of fraud.
The 2016 BBB Annual Scam Tracker Risk Report found that those aged 65 and older lose more money than any other age group when they fall victim to a scam. And the riskiest type of scam for this demographic is the “emergency scam,” where scammers claim to be a close friend or relative in need of immediate financial assistance to help with some sort of emergency.
Military families and veterans are another vulnerable population, being both more likely to fall for a scam than non-military populations and more likely to lose more money when they do. They typically fall victim to a fake check or money order scam.
The Latino population is more susceptible to debt-related schemes but is also much more likely to not report a scam, making it harder to work against fraud in these communities.
By offering presentations at churches, neighborhood associations, senior centers, older adult residential communities and other community locations, BBB is able to provide helpful information related to common scams and how to report and combat them. Additionally, BBB engages with professionals who work with these populations so as to educate them on areas of vulnerability that they may then communicate back to their clients.
Another service, BBBGrapevine.org, offers pertinent information, alerts, and announcements, as well as a community calendar with events that these populations might find helpful. More information can be found about this service at www.bbbgrapevine.org, where you can also sign up to receive newsletters, program invitations, and scam alerts.
Check out bbb.org to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam, read tips, follow us on social media, and more. If you are interested in having a representative from Better Business Bureau speak at one of your events, please contact Kim Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.