According to the recently published 2018 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, military consumers lose significantly more money to scammers than non-military consumers. When exposed to a scam, military consumers lost money at about the same rate (30.0% compared with 29.5%). When they do fall victim, however, the losses are greater at $200 vs. $150—a 33% difference.

The 2018 Risk Report included more than 4,700 reports from active-duty military personnel, military spouses, and veterans submitted to BBB Scam TrackerSM. We compiled these reports to see if military consumers are more likely to fall victim to scammers, and if they lose more than their civilian counterparts.

We then applied the BBB Risk Index, which calculates risk based on exposure, susceptibility, and median loss, to determine which scams were riskiest for military consumers. The three riskiest scams for military consumers were exactly the same as 2017: employment, home improvement, and online purchase.

Across these three riskiest scams, the trend of similar susceptibility and higher median losses was relatively consistent. Susceptibility was within 1% when comparing military consumers and non-military consumers for employment and online purchase scams; however, military consumers reported losing money more often to home improvement scams (59.7% compared with 51.7% for non-military consumers).

Median loss was higher for all three of the top scams, especially employment scams. In 2018, military spouses and veterans reported a median loss of $2,460 to employment scams— more than double the losses reported by non-military consumers. This increased loss is staggering, and consistent with our reporting in an earlier article ranking employment scams as #1 riskiest over time.

Education and prevention are critical to fighting back against these scammers. On March 6th, 2019 we released the full 2018 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. This publication shares with consumers and thought-leaders which scams are most affecting consumers across North America, how scammers are changing their tactics, and what red flags of fraud to be most aware of.

Help us empower all consumers, but especially military consumers, to take action on scams.

- Download the report: BBB.org/RiskReport
- Share scam-prevention tips: BBB.org/ScamTips
- Report scams to: BBB.org/ScamTracker