COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD)- Consumers in South Carolina lost hundreds of thousands to scams last month, according to recent data from the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA).
The agency said there were 68 scams reported between July 1 and July 31 which resulted in actual losses of $906,328.29.
“Crooks use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year,” the agency wrote in its report. “They often combine sophisticated technology with age-old tricks to get people to send money or give out personal information. They add new twists to old schemes and pressure people to make important decisions on the spot.”
Consumers were most often targeted by purchase scams, which involve consumers being tricked into paying for fake goods, accounting for 29% of all scams reported to the agency in July.
Lottery and sweepstakes scams accounted for 14% of scams. In one instance, an older Dorchester County woman was tricked into sending a scammer $500,000 in small checks throughout the year.
Service and repair scams, debt collection scams, and crime and warrant scams each accounted for 11% of scams reported last month.
The agency reported an additional $92,447.94 in potential losses, which is the amount of money reported by consumers who did not fall victim to an attempted scam.
A total of 644 scams have been reported to SCDCA so far in 2023 with July having the fewest number of reports.
According to SCDCA, the biggest red flags to look for in any type of scam include being pressured into making a fast decision, demanding an unusual form of payment, and offering a deal that seems too good to be true.
You can report a scam by calling 1 (844) TELL-DCA (835-5322) or by visiting the SCDCA website.