Millennials Beware! They're coming for you...
When you picture a group that's vulnerable to scams often seniors come to mind, but a Better Business Bureau analysis of scams found another group that is also a favorite target and the answer may surprise you.
Our special WGXA On Your Side report found that it turns out criminals looking for a quick buck are going after Millennials.
There are several reasons they are an enticing target, but there are some easy steps they can take to avoid getting taken.
Macon Millennial Kirsten Beach says she's seen friends targeted through social media.
"Some of those quick gaming things that look cool to just try out, some of them have tried them and they end up giving out too much information and they end up getting hacked like their accounts getting hacked so that's something that's happened," Beach said.
Generally Millennials are very tech savvy. Millennial Erin Lammons says she knows to tread cautiously, especially when it comes to email. "I guess I'm always timid at reading emails or anything that is not believable so I just stay away from it," she said.
But they aren't always experienced enough to be life-savvy, and that's where they can get into trouble.
As Millennial Noah Hill puts it, "I think millennials are more vulnerable because they haven't had that much interaction with their own money and that's why they are targeted more often than people who are more seasoned and know what to ask for when people are asking about their money."
"Employment scams are very, very popular among Millennials," says Kelvin Collins of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia. "They are networking and looking for jobs and things like that".
The BBB says bogus on-line services may offer work at home jobs that require a start-up fee or registration fee, or they may conduct an interview through email or on Skype that includes asking for personal information for employment screening or account information for payroll. Instead they are just harvesting your information.
The BBB says other popular scams targeting millennials include fake check scams. That's where someone offers to pay them for a service or item, but sends too big of a check and ask them to wire them part of the money in a refund. It turns out the original check is bogus.
"For a scam artist to really be able to take advantage of people, they need one of two things, greed or need", says Collins.
Kirsten Beach says, "A lot of young people and teenagers try and find easy ways to try and get out of things so if it looks easy they may try to click on it on the internet but it turns out being a scam rather than just doing the research."
Erin Lammons says that's where slowing down and doing a little research can make all the difference. "Just use common sense. If you aren't comfortable with the situation get their information and then you can follow up via google or anything on the internet and see if it is a valid person or proposal."
The advice you saw for millennials is good for any age level.
If something looks too good to be true don't give out any information or agree to anything until you have time to research it.
And if there is a tight time limit or someone is rushing you that's another giant red flag.