Military families and veterans have long been recognized as being at increased risk of being targeted by scammers. The steady paychecks and relative youth of active-duty military personnel may make them particularly vulnerable. Our BBB Scam Tracker scam reporting tool gives us up-to-the-minute information on trends in the scam marketplace, including scams that impact those that identify as active duty military, veterans, or military spouses. We highlight military-specific statistics in our latest BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report.  

Individuals who self-identify as active-duty military personnel, veterans or military spouses represent 8.5% of those who report to BBB Scam Tracker.  These individuals may be more susceptible when exposed to a scam, with 17.5% reporting losses compared to 15.6% of non-military individuals. More striking is the median loss of $280, nearly 27% higher than the non-military median loss of $220.

Our Risk Report uses our unique BBB Risk Index. The BBB Risk Index is a mathematical formula that assigns a risk rating to different scam types based on the intersection of exposure, susceptibility and monetary loss.

2016 Military Risk Report

By applying this formula to data from military families collected to date, we were able to identify the following scam types as being the top 10 most risky scams for military families:

  1. Employment scams
  2. Home improvement scams
  3. Online purchase scams
  4. Family and friend emergency scams
  5. Fake check/money order scams
  6. Tech support scams
  7. Travel and vacation scams
  8. Investment scams
  9. Advanced fee loan scams
  10. Romance scams

Knowing about the types of scams that are trending and the tactics scammers use is your best protection.  To learn more about how to spot and avoid the most risky scam types, visit bbb.org/scamtips.