As summer winds down, the Better Business Bureau is revealing the scams most often reported during the season. BBB's Veronica Craker says when looking at May through August, phishing scams, tax collection, and online purchase scams topped the list, however the family emergency scam had the most money lost to a victim.
Craker says an Idaho victim lost an estimated $34,000.
"The scam started off as an innocent friendship made on Facebook. The victim made friends with the scammer, who used a fake profile. The scammer created an entire family online and convinced the victim that they were a real person. Eventually, they started messaging the victim and telling them they needed money for their children or various emergencies. They were able to scam the victim out of small increments of money before going on to ask for larger funds. Finally, the victim told them they could no longer send them money and that’s when the scammer started to get angry and aggressive. Unfortunately, they were not able to get their money back," Craker explained.
Craker says there are other family emergency scams targeting Idaho residents as well. One person lost $8,000 when they thought they were sending money to help an injured grandson.
"It’s important to remember to never send money to someone you don’t know, and also verify whether or not the person you are speaking with on the phone or by email is who they say they are," Craker advised.