CHARLOTTE – The Better Business Bureau serving Southern Piedmont and Western North Carolina has identified the top five scams of 2018.
Skyrocketing to the top are scams that include online purchases. Helping escalate these scams are fake websites that continue to evolve and pop-up everywhere touting deeply discounted prices and too-good-to-be-true offers.
According to experts, 1.4 million fake websites are created every month, with criminals replacing some of these websites every few hours. By doing this, cyber criminals make it difficult for web crawlers to find their fraudulent pages and block them.
“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” says Tom Bartholomy, president of the Better Business Bureau serving Southern Piedmont and Western NC. “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 is a look at the top five scams of 2018.
1. Online Purchases – Feature a convincing website or online offer that leave customers spending lots of money without the product(s) they ordered.
2. Employment Scams – Offers to work from home might sound great, but often times they’re not. Receiving checks in the mail and being asked to forward them on to another address, or playing a middle-man of sorts, is also very common.
3. 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.
4. Phishing – Includes a series of fake emails requesting money or personal information.
5. Tax Collection – Scammers pretend to be from the IRS. They call and say the victim will be arrested if they don’t pay their back taxes immediately.