CHEYENNE, Wyo.- A study from the Better Business Bureau reports that those most susceptible to scams are millennials.
Last year, Consumer Reports estimated seniors lose $3 billion a year to financial fraud. This study, however, says it is millennials who are the easiest target- even though they are described as a group well-educated and tech savvy.
The Better Business Bureau says it is because the generation is afflicted with an "optimism bias" that makes them feel invulnerable and more likely to ignore warning signs.
The study included more than 2,000 adults and found that those between the ages of 18-24 were more than three times as likely to NOT recognize a scam and those between the ages of 25-34 were most likely to report losing money to a scam.
A professor of law from the University of Wyoming's College of Law says younger people tend to take more risks than older people and that can make them more susceptible to scams.
The Cheyenne Police Department PIO, Dan Long, said, "The scams are changing all the time. They have many different kinds, but they have a lot of the same underlined principals." Those include the following: they ask for money, they want you to act right now, and they use some sort of emotion (usually fear or excitement) to get you to give your money to them.
Long said an easy way to check and verify if it is a scam is to call the business directly and talk with friends and family. Spreading the word of a potential scam can help spread the warning to others.
Long said, "Don't jump right into things." It's always a good idea to take time, do some research and talk to others before giving any money.
The Cheyenne Police Department says if you have been scammed or lost any money, you can report it through their online reporting or call them directly.