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The Top 5 Scams of Last Year with Melissa Trumpower

The Top 5 Scams of Last Year with Melissa Trumpower

Update: 2022-05-25


In 2020 and 2021, the scam that impacted the largest number of people was done through online purchases. Either you or someone you know may very well have been scammed. Today’s guest is Melissa Trumpower. Melissa Trumpower is the Executive Director of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, the Educational Foundation of the Better Business Bureau. Melissa is the co-author of several research reports, including the BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, the BBB Online Purchase and Employment and Small Business Scam Reports. She has more than 30 years of leadership experience working with not-for-profit, has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from John Hopkins University.  

Show Notes:

  • [1:01 ] - Welcome to the show, Melissa! Melissa shares her current role with BBB and the mission of the organization.
  • [2:05 ] - Scam trackers from the BBB were created in 2015 to be really intentional and specific to track data on threats.
  • [3:30 ] - Melissa explains why she was drawn to this position with BBB.
  • [5:09 ] - Due to Covid, more people were online in 2020 and 2021 and online purchasing scams were the riskiest.
  • [6:25 ] - The BBB utilizes a risk index that looks at more than just the most prevalent of scams.
  • [7:23 ] - Online purchase scams don’t involve a lot of money per individual target, but they are riskiest because of how many of them are extremely believable.
  • [8:37 ] - Online purchase scams are simple. You purchase an item from a website or an ad and you never receive the item.
  • [9:45 ] - Be aware that you can come across fake websites in your web searches as well.
  • [10:46 ] - Melissa shares things to look for in sites that you have never purchased from before.
  • [11:56 ] - Don’t do anything rash especially if you feel like something is off.
  • [13:03 ] - The method of payment can be a red flag.
  • [14:21 ] - Crypto is also increasingly used in online purchase scams.
  • [16:43 ] - Be very careful even when sending crypto to someone you know and be certain you are sending it to the right person.
  • [17:04 ] - Employment scams are another top scam for the third year in a row.
  • [19:24 ] - Employment scams average a loss of over $900 per target.
  • [20:38 ] - Some job listings, especially on Craigslist, tend to be very vague and promising.
  • [22:55 ] - The other two top scams are home improvement scams and investment scams.
  • [24:24 ] - If you are investing money, do the research before making decisions. Melissa gives examples of what you can do to ensure safety.
  • [27:25 ] - Scammers do sometimes also pose as legitimate companies.
  • [28:02 ] - Don’t believe everything you see or read. Be cautious.
  • [29:28 ] - Another element BBB is looking at is the non-financial impact of scams.
  • [30:42 ] - The highest scam for susceptibility is the moving scam.
  • [32:29 ] - Consumers often read reviews and it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a real or fake review.

Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review. 

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The Top 5 Scams of Last Year with Melissa Trumpower

The Top 5 Scams of Last Year with Melissa Trumpower

Easy Prey