ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10)
Online purchase scams now account for more than a third of all scam reports filed with Better Business Bureau (BBB). Four out of five consumers who report such scams are losing money, making it the # 1 riskiest scam of its kind.
The BBB warns shoppers early during the holiday shopping season to find out how scammers can deceive shoppers, whether they are actively shopping or passively browsing.
Ang 2021 BBB Online Purchases Report Examines more than 55,000 online purchase scam reports submitted to BBB Scam Tracker between 2015 and 2021 and new survey research conducted in 2021 to gain insights from those who report online purchase scams in 2020 and 2021.
Online purchase scams continue to be ranked in the top three riskiest since 2017, and a significant number of people continue to lose money when targeted by online purchase scams (74.8% in 2021) . The median dollar loss for this type of scam has increased in recent years, from $ 76 in 2019 to $ 102 so far in 2021.
Experts predict an earlier start to the 2021 holiday shopping season due to supply chain concerns, microchip shortages, and holiday taking. BBB warned scammers to find ways to take advantage of the situation by varying product categories, taking advantage of what people are looking for online, and focusing on the most sought after gifts such as electronics, toys, and other stylish gifts.
“These critical findings can help guide our scam prevention to those more vulnerable to these types of scams,” said Melissa Trumpower, executive director of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, the BBB foundation . “Online buying scams don’t just affect those who lose money. For every victim who loses money, that means less income to buy groceries, gifts, pay utility bills, or loss of personal information that could lead to identity theft. “
Each year, the BBB Institute releases a BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, which analyzes last year’s data. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, online buying scams have jumped along with the rise in online shopping. The BBB took a deeper dive into the data by surveying people who reported scams to ask them more about their situation.
If a consumer is actively shopping for a product or passively browsing, it appears that this activity has an impact on susceptibility. Sixty -four percent of survey respondents were actively searching for a product when they lost money in an online purchase scam. Thirty -six percent of those who lose money are passively looking or not looking.
When the time came to place an order and expect the item to be shipped, 32% surveyed reported receiving shipping tracking information that seemed genuine, 30% received fake shipping information, 2% received of shipping information that they have not verified, and 36% will not not receive shipping information. Many survey respondents said they did not suspect a scam at first because they expected shipping delays due to the pandemic.
An analysis of online purchase scam reports submitted to BBB Scam Tracker found that scammers used over 400 different types of products to commit scams. Pets and pet supplies will be the best -selling category in 2020. Nearly 35% of online buying scam reports are related to pets, with 70% of people losing money and a median dollar loss. $ 750. The French Bulldog is the top breed used to keep up with puppy scams.
For tips on how to avoid online shopping scams, visit BBB.org/OnlinePurchaseScams
To report a scam, go to BBB.org/ScamTracker.