A new report released this morning by the Better Business Bureau shows that during the pandemic more Americans were affected by sweepstakes and lottery scams. KRPS’s Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.
The report is an update to the non-profit’s 2018 release and details how older Americans are preyed on by scammers not only looking to make a quick buck but to sometimes make $1,000’s of dollars off of unsuspecting people. It found that since 2018 there has been a 16% decline in the number of scam reports to the Federal Trade Commission, although there’s been an increase of 35% in the number of reported losses.
Stephanie Garland of the BBB office in Springfield, Missouri says the increase in scam activity is likely due to the pandemic. “Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, because people were alone. It was just hard to get around people, perhaps it wasn’t safe for them. And many times it wasn’t. What we know though, is that because of that confinement that they kept falling for this and scammers clearly took advantage of it.” Individuals over the age of 55 comprised 72% of fraud reports, losing an average of $978.