bad Credit

BBB Announces Top 10 Scams of 2021

BBB Announces Top 10 Scams of 2021
Written by Publishing Team

The Better Business Bureau serving Greater Cleveland (BBB) ​​has released its top ten scams of 2021.

The Better Business Bureau serving Greater Cleveland (BBB) ​​has released its top ten scams of 2021.

BBB President and CEO Sue McConnell explained that the list was compiled based on reports submitted to the BBB SCAM Tracker by local consumers.

“Although COVID-19-related scams were not in the top ten this year, the effects of the pandemic affected the prevalence and types of scams witnessed by the BBB in 2021,” she said. “For example, reports of identity theft increased significantly compared to last year mainly due to unemployment fraud during the 2021 tax season.”

She added that scammers have taken advantage of rising unemployment due to the COVID-19 shutdown and job losses to collect benefits in the names of unsuspecting victims.

Phishing and online purchases took first and second positions on the BBB list for 2021, respectively.

“It is not surprising considering the rise in online shopping, supply chain and labor shortages, and the growth of advertising on social media,” McConnell said. “Scammers have exploited these factors to launch phishing scams and deceptive websites.”

She said the BBB has seen this in the continuing popularity of pet scams and fake fancier websites that are used to lure consumers as they search for new furry friends to add to their families during quarantine.

“For example, online pet scams have proliferated again this year as some consumers choose to take advantage of the time they spend in quarantine to get a new family member,” McConnell said. Scammers have been widely reported as representing Amazon and Apple in phishing attempts.

Government agency fraudsters, tech support, sweepstakes, and prizes held steady in 2020.

Debt collection scams doubled their position in 2020 while employment fraud reports fell from sixth place in the previous year.

McConnell said fake check/remittance scams typically accompany an increase in the volume of employment fraud reports because fraudsters will pass out bad checks to “pay” their victims for fake car wrapping or obscure shopping carts.

The BBB encourages consumers to learn to recognize and avoid scams by following these simple steps:

  • Don’t believe everything you see. Scammers are experts at imitating official seals, fonts, and other details. Just because the website, email, or ID contacted looks official doesn’t mean it is.
  • Do not share personally identifiable information with someone who has contacted you without a requestWhether it’s over the phone, email, social media, or even at your door. This includes bank information, credit card information, your date of birth, and Social Security/Social Insurance numbers.
  • Use secure and traceable transactions. Avoid paying by bank transfer, prepaid money card, gift card, or other non-traditional payment methods. Use your credit card whenever possible.

If you come across a scam, report it to BBB Scar TrackerSM.

About the author

Publishing Team

Leave a Comment