Scams against businesses and individuals have gotten more sophisticated over the years with the use of the internet, email and social media. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this with more people staying home and using their computers to shop, invest, find love and find jobs.
Lisa Schiller, director of investigations and media relations at the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin, spoke to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently about what to look for and how people can protect themselves.
Here is an edited version of the conversation.
Question: How have scams evolved over the years?
Schiller: BBB has seen scams change and evolve and expand tremendously over the years. For example, 25, 30 years ago we saw a lot of scams perpetrated through the postal mail and via telephone. They now are coming from all over the world and scammers use all of the technology tools. They can hijack your website, your logos, your business or even your home address. They re-create names and steal identities. Scams are much, much more sophisticated nowadays. And, if scammers see people catching on, they change their techniques and shift their tactics.
When I think of the evolving of scams, I think of the infamous Nigerian prince email scam that we saw constantly in the 1990s and early 2000s versus what we see now: phishing scams and romance scams that, if fallen victim, can wipe out bank accounts and life savings. People lose so much more money today, not to mention their…