COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Attention, online shoppers: think twice before you click.
According to the Better Business Bureau, reported online shopping scams are still a big risk for central Ohioans.
“What we saw is our number one scam was online purchase scams,” said Judy Dollison, president of the BBB of Central Ohio. Dollison said that’s been the trend for the last three years.
“Obviously with the pandemic, so much went online,” Dollison said.
The BBB of Central Ohio took a closer look at scams reported to its Scam Tracker over the last year. Not only did online shopping scams top the list, but more consumers reported losing money to those schemes.
“Of all the reports we received, almost 75% reported losing money when targeted by that scam,” Dollison said.
Dollison said one of the driving forces behind those numbers is imposter websites, or scammers impersonating well-known, popular, and trusted companies.
“Amazon is our number one retailer that’s impersonated,” Dollison said. “Websites can be faked, and they can look so professional. They will actually use the logos and the typeface of the legitimate company. So, check that URL. Make sure it’s not slightly misspelled, make sure you’re going to the legitimate company.”
Dollison said people 35- to 65-years-old were most affected by online shopping scams. But 18- to 25-year-olds lost the most money overall to another type of scam.
“Employment scams was very high in 18- to 25-year-olds,” Dollison said.
Employment scams, according to the BBB, are now the second riskiest, taking the spot from the now-third riskiest scam, cryptocurrency.
“We lost over $225,000 just to cryptocurrency scams here locally, just in 2022,” Dollison said. “So, very high susceptibility in terms of the dollars lost.”
Any business conducted online is more susceptible to money loss. So, the next time you log on, make sure you’re getting the real deal. Take the time to do research on a website or company before you agree to or pay for anything and be careful with what you share on social media.
“Because you can give so much information away, that they can use to work against you,” Dollison said.
Looking at the rest of the study, home improvement scams came in at number four, and advance fee loan scams rounded out the top five.