Military Consumers Average Higher Losses To Scams

Military Consumers Average Higher Losses To Scams

Photo by: U.S. Army

Military personnel and their families have a higher average rate of loss to scammers and other marketplace fraud due to their unique lifestyle, according to a recent report from the Better Business Bureau.

The report, Military Consumers & Marketplace Trust: An Analysis of Marketplace Challenges Facing the Military Community, looked at the more than 28,000 business complaints and 5,000 scam reports submitted to the BBB by military consumers in 2018. The report then compared those to reports from all consumers in the U.S. and Canada. Military consumers reported losing a median of $200 when falling victim to a scam, 32% higher than the $152 reported by all consumers in 2018.

“Trust is vitally important in the military community,” Melissa Bittner, who manages the BBB’s Military & Veterans Initiative, said in a press release. “Knowing which businesses military families can trust while navigating life in the military is essential, because scammers prey on individuals who must make quick purchasing decisions.”

During permanent change-of-station moves, military consumers are often forced to make quicker purchasing decisions compared to civilians. Military consumers also filed more complaints about securing and maintaining their homes, moving, and purchases related to relocation than the general population, and they reported losing money at higher rates to home-improvement scammers.

Additionally, relocation can make finding secure employment a challenge for military spouses and other family members.

“Employment scams were the riskiest scams for military consumers, as they were for all consumers in 2018,” said Melissa Lanning Trumpower, executive director of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust. “The difference is that for military consumers the median losses reported were $2,460—more than double that of all consumers.”

To view the full report, click here.