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Military veterans and their spouses fall for employment scams more often


(WKOW) -- While the Better Business Bureau reports that employment scams are the riskiest scams out there for consumers, they hit military spouses and veterans the hardest.

An employment scam is when someone is led to believe that they are being hired for a new job, but the job isn't real.

In its recent employment scams report, the BBB surveyed more than 10,000 people who reported encountering an employment scam in the last three years. The most common reason they engaged with a scammer was because they thought the proposed job would give them the ability to work from home.

But according to the 2019 Military Consumers and Marketplace Trust report, military and veteran families face more unique challenges when it comes to employment scams.

"Life in the military comes with unique stressors that affect how consumers and families interact in the marketplace," the study said.

Over the last few years, of those surveyed, almost 20 percent of military spouses and nearly 17 percent of veterans lost money in an employment scam. That's compared to 15.5 percent for non-military consumers. Folks either worked without pay, lost personal information, or just plain lost money.

While military spouses and veterans reported the highest financial loss, service members also lost more than non-military customers. This could be connected with the common thread of respondents wanting flexible, "gig" type employment opportunities.

According to the study, prevention and intervention methods can reduce the likliehood of financial loss. Those who knew how to avoid employment scams were less likely to fall for them.

In addition, people who told bank tellers and retail employees about the supposed job offers were also more likely to be convinced by those folks to walk away before losing money.

When a company, organization, or agency employee intervened to stop the scam, they were successful 69 percent of the time.

Sara Maslar-Donar

Reporter, WKOW 27 News

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