BBB Report Says Employment Scams on the Rise

Employment scams climbed to second riskiest in 2022, according to new BBB report

Online purchase scams remained #1 riskiest scam type

Arlington, VA (March 6, 2023) — Employment scams are now the second riskiest, according to a new report from the Better Business Bureau. Employment scam reports submitted to BBB Scam TrackerSM were up 23.1 percent from 2021 to 2022.

The median dollar loss of $1,500 for employment scams is significantly higher than the overall median dollar loss of $171 for all scam types.
Online purchase (shopping) scams remained the #1 riskiest scam type in 2022.

Cryptocurrency scams dropped in 2022, from second to third riskiest because of a decline in reported scams, susceptibility (the percentage of those who lose money when exposed to a scam), and median dollar loss. Romance scams reappeared on the list this year, rising from #14 in 2021 to #7 in 2022 because of an increase in reports and a higher median dollar loss.

“Employment scams, which peaked at #1 on our list in 2019, are seeing a resurgence,” said Melissa Lanning Trumpower, executive director of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, which produced the 2022 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. “This is a high-touch scam in which perpetrators spend more time with their targets in the hope of stealing more money from each target. Employment scams tied for the highest median dollar loss of all scam types. Home improvement scams, #4 on our list of riskiest scams, also had a median dollar loss of $1,500.”

Key findings of the report include:
More people reported losing money when targeted by a website, social media, or email than other contact methods.

Those who were targeted in person reported losing the largest amount of money ($715), followed by text message ($579) and phone ($550).

Text message scams increased 39.6 percent, up from 12.7 percent in 2022.

Scams perpetrated online were more likely to result in a monetary loss, compared with scams being targeted by phone or in person.

Credit cards remained the most reported payment method with a monetary loss, followed by online payment systems.

The payment methods with the highest median dollar loss were wire transfer ($2,700), check ($1,277), and cryptocurrency ($1,135).

The riskiest scam type varied among age groups, with employment scams landing as the #1 riskiest for ages 18 to 34.

Online purchase scams were again the #1 riskiest for ages 35 to 64. Home improvement scams were the #1 riskiest for ages 65+.

Military consumers (active-duty military, spouses, and veterans) reported significantly higher median financial losses ($238) than non-military consumers ($163). Active-duty military reported losing significantly more money ($490) than military spouses ($248) and veterans ($200).

The five most impersonated organizations reported to BBB Scam Tracker in 2022:
Geek Squad
Publishers Clearing House
U.S. Postal Service
A list of the top 15 is provided in the report.

For more highlights from the 2022 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, visit

Go to to report a scam, learn more about other risky scams on and visit our news feed.

The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute) is the educational foundation of the Better Business Bureau. Our mission is to educate and protect consumers, promote best practices for businesses, and solve complex marketplace problems. Our consumer educational programs, which include a wide array of resources on fraud prevention and education, are delivered digitally and in person by BBBs serving communities across the United States and Canada. You can find more information about BBB Institute and its programs at

BBB Scam Tracker ( is an online platform that enables consumers and businesses to report attempted and successful acts of fraud. The platform also enables people to search the scam reports to help determine if they are being targeted by a scam. The platform was upgraded in 2022 with support from Amazon and Capital One.

To better understand which scam types pose the highest risk, BBB Institute assesses risk based on the BBB Risk Index: Exposure x Susceptibility (or likelihood of loss) x Monetary Loss. These three factors help us understand the impact of scams and who is most vulnerable. Each year, BBB Institute publishes its annual findings in the BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. The report also includes survey research conducted with those who reported scams to BBB Scam Tracker.

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