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Scammers take advantage of rise in online sales

Posted at 8:04 AM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 08:05:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Experts said online sales during the pandemic jumped by more than 60%, and scammers have taken advantage.

Last year, 47,000 online scam complaints were filed across the country with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Their tricks are more elaborate and, according to a recently released BBB risk report, there is a new demographic in the the number one spot when it comes to falling victim to online scammers: 18 to 24-year-olds.

One of the new tactics scammers are using is impersonating websites.

But this trick isn't just geared toward a younger demographic.

"The most impersonated company on the internet today is the social security administration," said Barry Moore with the BBB. "There are more people trying to rip you off of your benefits than even trying to rip off Amazon and some of the other big companies off Facebook and so forth."

Moore added, "Be aware, do your research. Check the company out. Don’t assume third parties are always going to be honest."

If you’ve been scammed online, Moore said you should report it to the police, to the BBB, even your state's attorney general’s office.

Consumers can also go to BBB.org and use the scam tracker tool to stay up to date on scams that are trending, and protect themselves.