BBB releases 2024 Mid-Year Report on top scams impacting Texans

Texans are on track to lose millions of dollars this year to bad actors. That’s according to the 2024 Mid-Year Report released by the BBB Serving the Heart of Texas.

"The numbers are back, they're stunning, and they closely mimic what we saw last year at the same time," said Jason Meza, senior director of media relations and community engagement for the BBB Serving the Heart of Texas during a virtual press conference on Tuesday. "This year may be a repeat of what we saw last year. The numbers are already creeping back up."

In 2021 and 2022, around $2 million in losses due to scams were reported in Texas to the BBB. That number jumped to $9 million in 2023.

So far, in 2024, more than $4 million has been lost in Texas, according to 2,600 reports made to the BBB.

Data shows that people aged 35 to 44 were impacted most often, while people aged 45 to 54 lost the most money. 

"Often the belief is that our senior citizens are most at risk of falling for scams, but the data shows it’s a little bit different over the past few years," said Meza. "It tells a different story."

The top scams so far in 2024 are related to online purchases, romance and investment/cryptocurrency.

Investment/cryptocurrency scams account for 30% of the $4.3 million in losses this year, according to the BBB. 


"They include a lot of really technical terms and investment or cryptocurrency language with the victim, having them take multiple steps and transfer money from one fund to another. They can spend weeks or even months mining for bitcoins," said Katie Galan, director of education and community engagement for the BBB Serving the Heart of Texas. "They'll deposit money into digital wallets by using multiple ATMs and some other specific strategies."

The person may even receive promised returns the first few times, but when they attempt to withdraw money from their account, that’s when the scam gets triggered, according to the BBB.

"Some of these victims are told that they have to first pay this exorbitant tax rate before the proceeds can be transferred, and that can be as much as 30 to 40% of the expected gain. Other people may be charged service fees or told that the deposits need to reach a predetermined level before it can be transferred to their account," said Galan. "In the end, they're never going to get that investment or that supposed return."

Another common type of scam right now is an employment scam.

"What we often see is a company is going to provide a new employee with a fake check under the pretense it's supposed to be used to furnish their home office, but they make some sort of mistake that results in them being overpaid, like adding an extra zero," said Devin Benavides, director of partnerships and community engagement. "So $600 becomes $6,000. Then they'll demand the extra money be immediately returned and will often threaten legal action."

For some scams, like employment-related scams, the impact can't always be measured monetarily. 

"It isn't so much about the amount of money lost, but the serious risk of identity theft associated with falling for [employment] scams," said Benavides.

To report suspected fraud to the BBB Scam Tracker, click here.