The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust released its Online Purchase Scams Report 2021, revealing these scams are the most reported to the BBB Scam Tracker website so far this year.

Seventy-five percent of those targeted report losing money to these online scams.

The new report gives a better look at how consumers are targeted. In many cases customers were actively searching for a business and came across the scam on Google. However, half of the people who report losing money through a Facebook ad weren’t initially looking to make a purchase. These passive buyers saw something that caused them to take action and it led to them losing money.

“A growing number of people just scrolling through social media are becoming victims of this popular scam,” says Phil Catlett, president of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan. “Just because it is a paid ad doesn’t make it a legitimate offer.”


Recent examples reported to the BBB include:

• A Wexford County woman ordered calming dog beds from a website she had not used in the past. Over $120 was taken out of her bank account and she was sent a confirmation email right away. But, the product never came, no one will return her emails, and the website no longer lists those dog beds.

• A Grand Rapids woman found herself in a similar…

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