Release date: 3/20/2018
NeighborWorks America consumer finance survey finds nearly half of low- and middle-income adults have or know someone who has been a victim of a financial or identity scam
Student loan borrowers scammed more than others
Washington, D.C. — According to the fifth annual NeighborWorks America consumer finance survey
, nearly half (47 percent) of middle-income adults know someone who has been the victim of a financial scam or were scammed themselves. The NeighborWorks America survey, which polled adults who earned $75,000 or less, found that 21 percent of respondents said they personally were victims of a financial or identity-theft scam and 26 percent reporting knowing someone who had been scammed.
Adults who identified themselves as Hispanic were more likely to report they were victims of a scam (30 percent, compared to 21 percent overall). Meanwhile, 29 percent of respondents ages18-34 and 31 percent of ages 35-49 reported knowing someone who was scammed, compared to the survey average of 26 percent.
Student loan borrowers are particularly vulnerable to scams. While 21 percent of all middle- and low-income adults surveyed said they were personally a scam victim, 28 percent of those who still have student loan debt reported they had been victimized, and 32 percent of borrowers who already have paid off their debt said they knew someone who had been scammed.
How to protect yourself
"It's important for consumers to take steps to protect themselves from these financial scams," said Barbara Floyd Jones, senior manager of national homeownership programs at NeighborWorks America. "Through NeighborWorks America's community initiatives
, we work to educate consumers about the measures they can take to protect their identities — including signing up for automatic email alerts from the Federal Trade Commission
and periodically reviewing their credit reports."
For more information about NeighborWorks America's consumer finance survey, go to www.neighborworks.org/fincapsurvey
About NeighborWorks America
For nearly 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. (d/b/a NeighborWorks America), a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit, has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and safe, affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $27.2 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.