Online scams went up during the pandemic.
That’s one of the findings in the latest Scam Tracker Risk Report from the Better Business Bureau.
More than 46,500 scams were reported to the Scam Tracker in 2020.
Online shopping scams account for more than 38 percent, up from more than 24 percent in 2019.
“Really, that just highlights a change in our consumer behavior over the last year with the onset of the pandemic. We were all home. We engaged in online shopping more. We saw this was pretty pervasive across all age groups,” BBB South Dakota State Director Jessie Schmidt said.
Susceptibility also went up, with nearly half of all scam reports involving financial loss.
“More of us lost money than we ever have in the past, and so not that we just saw it and we were potential victims, but we absolutely were victims more than we ever have been before,” Schmidt said.
Better Business Bureau South Dakota State Director Jessie Schmidt offers some things to keep in mind to avoid scams.
“Just because you see a friend or get a message from a friend saying they’re using an online product, I would not take that as gospel. You need to search out; shop at trusted sources; don’t click a link in an email. Really go to that actual website to determine, ‘Is that the product that I’m interested in? Am I buying it from a reputable source?'” Schmidt said.
Other tips from the BBB include don’t be pressured to act immediately and be careful what you share on social media.