Scammers target young adults in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A recent study revealed that people between the ages of 18 and 24 are now more susceptible to scams than the elderly.

The president of New Mexico’s Better Business Bureau says they’re starting to see that play out in New Mexico.

Better Business Bureau data shows nearly 30 young New Mexicans fell for scams since January of last year. Altogether, the victims lost more than $9,400.

The large majority of those scams include fake websites selling fake products or services, but there are several cases also involving pets, relationships, and job offers.

“The kids are on their on their mobile devices all the time,” said Brian Baca with the local Better Business Bureau. “They’re clicking on things, they’re clicking on links that they shouldn’t click on. And they’re they’re opening themselves up to provide personal information that even a scammer can get up, you know, even up to the, with the parents as information, as well.”

A recent report from Social Catfish, a company dedicated to preventing online scams through reverse search technology, revealed money lost from victims 20 and younger has skyrocketed 2,500% since 2017 – almost three times as much as scams targeting older adults and the elderly.

A survey from the Better Business Bureau found at least 11% of parents know their kids have been targeted by scammers, mostly on social media. Baca urges parents to get involved earlier rather than later.

“Especially for younger kids, it’s important for parents,” Baca said. “There’s apps in there for security, for parents to control, to get in there and control those apps to see. And for parents, you know, we want to trust our kids, but to look at the kind of apps and social media that they’re looking at and to have those conversations.”

Baca said education is key. He said that kids who know what to look out for are less likely to fall for scams.