The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) released two studies showing 40% of Black and Latino adults have been targeted by online scams.
According to the AARP studies, titled Consumer Fraud in America: The Black Experience and The Latino Experience, 20% of those that have been targeted lost money due to a scam and about 60% of adults who lost money to a scam, have done so more than once.
The scams are also different depending on race according to the studies.
Black men and women are typically targeted with lottery and work-from-home scams as well as fake job postings, COVID-19 stimulus payments and romance scams. Latino adults are targeted with grandparent and utility payment scams as well as government- and work-related scams.
“Our research shows us scammers are targeting the Black community, so it is important to talk with friends and family about the specific scams they may see and how to avoid them,” Shani Hosten, AARP vice president of African American/Black audience strategy said in a statement. “Being able to spot a scam can not only help people avoid losing money, but also avoid the emotional toll of a scam.”
The AARP is the nation’s second-largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering American adults 50 and older. The organization has more than 38 million members. Earlier this year, the organization used its resources to help Black Americans manage their finances during the pandemic.
Other findings by the AARP include 58% of Latino adults and 56% of Black adults have not registered on the National Do Not Call Registry and less than 20% of Black and Latino adults report using a robocall-blocking service on either a cell phone or landline. The studies also found more than half of Black and Latino adults report using the same or similar password across multiple accounts.
The AARP did detail some encouraging signs showing scams are decreasing in success. According to the studies, just 10% of Latinos say they enter prize/gift offers with their personal information and 45% of Black adults said they do not answer a call from a phone number they do not recognize.
To make scams easier to identify and avoid, the AARP Fraud Watch Network recommends signing up for the Do Not Call registry and using a call-blocking service. The network also recommends changing and updating passwords.