CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Online purchases skyrocketed to the top of the Better Business Bureau’s top five scams last year while tax collection finished out the list.
Experts tell the BBB that 1.4 million fake website are created every month. It can be difficult to find the criminals, who replace these websites frequently.
“We consistently warn consumers about fake websites and shopping online, and remind them that if a price looks too good to be true, it probably is” BBB President Tom Bartholomy says. “Scammers have been doing such a great job building fake websites with enticing offers, that often times it’s difficult to tell that it’s fraudulent at first glance.”
Below are the top five scams of 2018 in order, according to the BBB:
- Online purchases
- Employment scams
- Fake checks/money orders
- Tax collection
BBB says employment scams often include false offers to work from home or being asked to forward checks to another address.
The BBB paints a picture of the third top scam, fake checks/money orders: “A victim receives a check in the mail for much more than expected and is then told to cash the check, keep some of the money and send the rest back or to another person. In reality, the check is fake, and the victim is on the hook for the entirety of the funds.”
Phishing scams include a series of fake emails that request personal information or money
Bottoming out the list at number 5 is tax collection, where scammers often pretend to be from the IRS and warn the victim will be arrested if they don’t pay back their taxes immediately.
If you think you’ve been scammed, click here to report it to the BBB.