Online purchase scams are up, BBB offers tips to protect your money

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- A new report from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) shows that online purchase scams are up, accounting for one-third of all scams reported.

According to the report, 35% of scams reported to the BBB in 2021 were online purchase scams, and 75% of targets reported losing money. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 were most likely to report losing money compared to any other age group. The report also showed that individuals within that age group lost more money.

Online purchase scams are now the #1 riskiest scam, with the average dollar amount lost raising from $96 in 2020 to $102 in 2021.

Ahead of the holiday shopping season, the BBB offers these tips for protecting your money against online scams:

  • Don’t make a purchase decision based only on customer reviews.
  • Do more research on products found through online search, but remember the source of your research is important. Consider using tools like BBB’s Scam Tracker.
  • If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be careful when purchasing sought-after products as scammers may offer these products at great prices.
  • Avoid making quick purchases on social media or “impulse-buying.”
  • Use secure and traceable transactions.
  • Choose your online payment system carefully.
  • Don’t believe everything you see. Just because a website or logo looks official does not mean it is.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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