Online shopping fraud has cost victims nearly $380 million this year, study shows

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – People in North America have lost almost $380 million due to online shopping fraud in 2022, the Better Business Bureau said.

As we get closer to holiday shopping, the BBB and previous victims of scams are encouraging others to be aware.

Amelia Williford was looking for a pool on sale when she fell victim to an online scam early this year.

She started to be suspicious when she noticed it was taking too much time for it to come in the mail.

“I went back to the website, and the website was gone,” Williford said. “Then I went and look at my credit card statement and had that charged as an auto part store.”

Consumers have to keep their eyes wide open, as the BBB said this type of scam have never been more prevalent than now.

“Nearly 36% of all these online retail fraud reports originated through a fake website,” Josh Planos with the BBB said.  “So, these are sites that at some cases are meant to look like Amazon.com and meant to look like a reputable company.”

The BBB said people should use their credit card when buying online, rather than debit cards or applications. It said credit cards offer more protection.

“Always, if you can, pay by credit card. They offer the most protection against loss,” Plan0s said. “A lot of these scams originated with peer-to-peer methods, so they’re asking for payments with Zelle, or Venmo or even cryptocurrency.”

The BBB said consumers should pay attention to red flags like unfamiliar websites or social media without reviews, as well as prices that are too good to be true.

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