The COVID-19 pandemic changed how consumers and businesses bought and sold goods, in turn increasing buying and selling online.

As a result, online purchase scams reported to Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker rose from 24.3% of all scams reported in 2019 to 38.3% in 2020, according to the 2020 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. Reports of online purchase scams to BBB Scam Tracker indicate almost 79% lost money, making it the #1 riskiest scam type, the BBB reports. This year, these scams continue to pose a significant risk to consumers as scammers take advantage of the rapidly changing online technology landscape, according to a news release from the BBB.

Recently a consumer from Mentor told BBB she lost $40 after she made a purchase online. She told BBB “I should have known better. I made this purchase after viewing an ad during an online game I was playing, for a foldable scooter for my father. I received a confirmation email, and then a ‘your product has shipped’ email. However, the tracking part of it did not work and upon further investigation, I realized that there was no such tracking number and that I will never get my package. Lesson: check out a company before you order, not after!”

BBB’s survey found that respondents who paid by credit card or PayPal were more likely to report being able to get their money back than consumers who utilized Cash App, a wire transfer, or Zelle, the release detailed. Pet-related scams continued to be the riskiest and they…

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