According to a 2022 Better Business Bureau (BBB) report, consumers aged 25-44 reported losing money to text message scams more than any other age group. This age group also reported a higher susceptibility to fraud (42.6%), and a higher median dollar loss at $190.

This generation’s high usage of social media and dating apps exposes them to digital fraudsters. Here are five popular scams targeting younger generations and how to help safeguard yourself from fraud.   

Employment Scams

While most employers advertise online through job sites and social media, it can be a slippery slope when deciding which offers are legitimate. Some examples of common job scams include fully remote work, mystery shoppers, virtual personal assistants, and quality control managers.

As enticing as these jobs may seem, if the employer claims you can make a lot of money quickly, that’s a red flag. Here are a few more red flags to watch out for:

  • You can be your own boss.
  • Start your own business.
  • Set your own schedule.
  • Discounts on your application fee.

The fake employer may also offer to mail you an onboarding bonus and send you a check before starting. Often this is a fake check scam, where you must deposit the check and send back funds due to “overpayment.” Ultimately, the check will bounce, and since it was deposited in your bank account, you are responsible to cover any overdraft fees or negative balances.  

How can you avoid a job scam?

Before formally accepting the job offer, look up reviews or complaints on the BBB website, talk to someone you trust; never pay to secure the position, and refrain from accepting a check, wire, or mobile/bank transfer in advance.

What are some reliable job search sources online?

Online Purchase Scams 

Online shopping can be a blessing and a curse. Though it may be easy to order goods last minute and get it shipped to your house overnight, scammers have evolved to produce look-alike websites that can trick you into providing your debit card or bank account information. To avoid a fraud website, look for a lock or key icon in your browser’s address bar. These icons indicate a website’s security certificate has been authenticated.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also recommends never buying something from online sellers that only accept payment from gift cards, wire transfers through companies like Western Union and MoneyGram, or cryptocurrency. An offer that looks ‘too good to be true’, usually is.

What if you’ve already given out sensitive information?

Cut off all communication and immediately report the fraud to your bank. As an added security measure, you can place a credit freeze with the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian) to ensure your credit is safe.

You should also report the scam to the FTC at to help prevent others from falling victim.

Rental Scams 

Renting has always been a tricky space to navigate. Whether struggling to find a place in a good neighborhood or for a reasonable price, rental scams can only add to the pressure. A rental scammer will demand payment on a rental that doesn’t exist. According to Experian, there are five signs to look out for when house or apartment hunting:

  1. The rental pictures look too good to be true.
  2. The listing has spelling or grammatical errors.
  3. Pressure to lease immediately.
  4. You’re asked for money upfront before taking a tour.
  5. There’s no credit check involved.

How can you avoid a rental scam?

  1. Always request an in-person tour.
  2. Skip listings that have red flags (see previous list).
  3. Speak directly to the property owner, preferably in person.
  4. Read reviews or speak with current and past tenants.

Cryptocurrency Scams

Like most scams, cryptocurrency ones are designed to trick you into making false investments with a large return. Recently, Time published a few red flags to heed when dealing with digital currencies:

  • Too good to be true: If you come across a crypto offer that looks too good to be true, then it usually is. Do more research into the investment and stay updated on crypto news before taking the leap.
  • Promises of guaranteed returns: Just like the stock market, there’s no guarantee when it comes to returns. If an investor is promising guaranteed returns, it’s likely a scam.
  • Unexpected communication: Similar to phishing emails, any unexpected correspondence by email, phone call, or text from someone asking you to login into your account is a scam. Usually, scammers will threaten you with a problem on your account or offer a once-in-a-lifetime deal to lure you in.

Money Mule Scams 

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a money mule transfers or moves illegally acquired money on behalf of someone else. Criminals often recruit money mules to help launder money through online scams or human and drug trafficking.

Often, money mules are unaware they are helping further these crimes and are victims of fraud. Some common forms of mule activity include work-from-home job opportunities and dating or social media sites where the scammer asks you to deposit a check or receive a wire and transfer it back to them.

What should you do if you believe you’re a victim?

  • Stop communications with the suspected scammer.
  • Stop any money movement from depositing checks to transferring funds.
  • Maintain all receipts, contact information, and relevant communication.
  • Notify your bank and the service/platform you used to transact.
  • Notify law enforcement and report any suspicious activity to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at

At FirstBank, we’re dedicated to providing the most up-to-date fraud prevention resources to help you avoid fraud and safeguard your money. To learn more, visit the Fraud Prevention page at   

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