SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A local woman nearly lost close to $3,000 to a stranger in a scam that’s targeting young people – and some are falling for it.

Cynthia Scroggins says people should beware and be on alert, as she almost lost thousands of dollars in an employment scam.

“I got a letter in the mail that was kind of suspicious. I wasn’t sure what it was, but it came with a check for $2,700 and it said what I was going to be doing was the secret going to Walmart and secretly buy prepaid money cards,” Scroggins said.

Recent findings from the Better Business Bureau say employment scams are on the rise and they are targeting a younger demographic due to new forms of jobs.

“Since 2020, we’re all living more of our lives online and more people are wanting to work remotely, work from home,” said Pamela Hernandez, the regional director at the BBB. 

“It can be anything from a check showing up saying, we want you to do mystery shopping for us and go out and buy these gift cards and send us back the information to something that feels like a very legitimate job application,” Hernandez said.

Employment scams ranked as the number one scams for ages 18 to 34 with the highest median dollar loss, averaging $1,500.

Professionals say everyone should take precautions when contacted to avoid falling victim. 

“You know, scammers are always shifting their techniques. And so what we’re seeing is more use of email and text and social media, and that tends to appeal to a younger demographic,” said Hernandez. “Do some research first.”