MIAMI (CBSMiami) – New research has revealed how a victim connects to a scam can make a big difference whether or not they lose money.
Dee Emerson was job searching online and thought she found the perfect fit.
“I was excited, you know the money and to be able to work from home, that was a great opportunity,” Emerson said.
The offer was a data entry work from home position. The company hired her and said they’d send a $50 check to pay for equipment.
“When I received the check it was for $4,700,” she recalled.
Emerson became suspicious and after looking into it discovered it was a scam.
It’s believed the check was a fake and the people behind it probably wanted her to deposit the check then send back $4,000 before it bounced.
“I’m just glad I went with my instincts,” she said.
Emerson didn’t fall for the scam but plenty of people do.
New research from the Better Business Bureau finds around one out of four people who fall for employment and fake check frauds lose money. Victims of online purchase scams, which involve buying products that never show up, are the most likely to lose money.
“Anybody can be targeted and victimized by fraud,” said Gary Mottola with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
Mottola said people are more likely to engage and lose money in a scheme when they connect with the con through social media or a website.
Researchers also found people who live alone and don’t have people to talk to are at higher risk.
“Not talking to someone about a potentially fraudulent offer is problematic and leads to higher, higher victimization rates,” he said.
Every year about 10 percent of U.S. adults fall for a fraud, which is why Mottola believes knowledge is power.
People who didn’t fall for a scam already knew about them from news reports or word of mouth. And those who scored higher on a financial literacy questionnaire were also less likely to become a scam victim.