Detroit Regional Chamber > Member News > Investment and Cryptocurrency Scams Riskiest in 2023, According to New BBB Report

Investment and Cryptocurrency Scams Riskiest in 2023, According to New BBB Report

March 8, 2024
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (MARCH 8, 2024) – Investment scams, including those involving cryptocurrency, are now the riskiest scam type for consumers in the United States and Canada, according to the Better Business Bureau. More than 80% of people who were targeted by this scam type reported to BBB Scam TrackerSM that they lost money. It also had the second highest median dollar loss at $3,800.

“Investment and cryptocurrency scams had a significant impact in 2023, particularly for people 45 and older,” said Melissa Lanning Trumpower, executive director of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, which produced the 2023 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. “People should always beware of opportunities that sound too good to be true. No investment opportunity will come with zero risk.”

Investment scams take many forms, including pressure to purchase, trade, or store digital assets (cryptocurrency) with fraudulent exchanges. Investment and cryptocurrency scams both appeared on the list of ten riskiest scams in 2023. This year, the two were combined because most cryptocurrency scams involved some sort of investment opportunity.

Employment scam reports remained the second riskiest scam type in 2023. Reports increased 54.2% from the year before. Employment scams had a median dollar loss of $1,995, significantly higher than the overall median dollar loss of $100 reported for all scam types.

Online purchase (shopping) scams dropped from the riskiest scam type for U.S. and Canadian consumers for the first time since 2019, landing at number three on the list. This year, 41.9% of scams submitted to BBB Scam Tracker were online purchase scams, and 82.6% reported losing money.

“Seeing online purchase scams drop from the riskiest scam type, down the number three spot offers a glimmer of hope that our efforts to educate the public are working,” said Melanie Duquesnel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. “Many people are familiar with our efforts to address consumers complaints, but we also are constantly out in the community conducting speaking engagements and sharing warnings to try helping people learn how to avoid being scammed in the first place.”

Key findings of the 2023 Scam Tracker Risk Report include:

  • In general, scams perpetrated online continued to grow, making up 68.4% of all reports. More concerning, online scams were more likely to result in a reported monetary loss than scams perpetrated in person or via phone.
  • Overall reported susceptibility (the percentage of reports with a monetary loss) rose 27.8% from 2022 to 2023. Overall reported median dollar loss fell 41.5%.
  • For the second year in a row, people ages 18-24 reported the highest median dollar loss of all age groups ($155).
  • The percentage of people who reported engaging with a scammer via social media rose 63.8% from 2022 to 2023.
  • Credit cards remained the most reported payment method with a monetary loss, followed by bank account debit and online payment system. Reports of bank account debit with a monetary loss increased 66.4%.
  • Employment scams were No. 1 riskiest for ages 18-44. Investment/cryptocurrency scams were No. 1 riskiest for ages 45+.

According to our survey research, people between the ages of 18 and 44 named anxiety/stress as the number one emotion they felt after being targeted by a scam, while people 45+ cited anger as the number one emotion.

The five most impersonated organizations reported to BBB Scam Tracker in 2023:

  •  U.S. Postal Service
  • Amazon
  • Publishers Clearing House
  • Geek Squad
  • Norton

A list of the top 20 is provided in the report.

For more highlights from the 2023 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, visit

If you believe you have fallen victim to a scam, report it at


The Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands and charities they can trust for more than 110 years. In 2023, people turned to BBB more than 218 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 5.3 million businesses, and 80,000 times for BBB charity reports on about 12,000 charities, for free at Local, independent BBBs provide services free to the public, and can be found across the United States and Canada, including the BBB Serving Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Visit or call (866) 788-5706 for more information.

To better understand which scam types pose the highest risk, BBB Institute assesses risk based on the BBB Risk Index: Exposure x Susceptibility (or likelihood of loss) x Monetary Loss. These three factors help us understand the impact of scams and who is most vulnerable. Each year, BBB Institute publishes its annual findings in the BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. The report also includes survey research conducted with those who reported scams to BBB Scam Tracker. BBB Scam Tracker was voted the Best Scam Fighting Tool by the Global Anti-Scam Alliance and