A new report found that cryptocurrency fraud was the second...

A new report found that cryptocurrency fraud was the second riskiest scam type in 2021. Credit: Bloomberg/Christinne Muschi

Because of their interest in cryptocurrency, millennials have attracted the interest of cybercriminals.

A new report from the Better Business Bureau found that cryptocurrency fraud was the second riskiest scam type in 2021, up from seventh place in 2020. The BBB said it received thousands of reports of scammers targeting people on social media networks such as Instagram and Facebook, typically “offering to help them invest in bitcoin.” The median loss reported by consumers taken in by cryptocurrency scams was $1,200, higher than any other scam. The BBB also found that younger people lost money at higher rates than older generations.

Crypto scams were most successful against males aged 25-34. Gen Z — the generation 24 and younger — were victimized more by employment and non-crypto financial scams. One common employment scam targeted recipients with fake job offers where they were asked to pay a fee for “training” or “equipment.” Victims of employment fraud reported a median loss of $967. Financial scams lured inexperienced investors with “false information and promises of large returns with little or no risk,” the BBB said. The median loss reported by investment fraud victims was $948.

Overall, online purchase frauds were the most prevalent of the 28 consumer categories tracked by the BBB, making up 37% of all scams as homebound Americans increased online shopping.

Although far more numerous than crypto or employment scams, the median loss per victim of an online purchase scam was far less — $96. Top methods used to perpetrate online shopping scams were bogus e-commerce websites, social media and email.

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