Top Five Scams Of 2023 Listed

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (January 18, 2024) – Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Carolinas (BBB) has released its list of the top 5 scams reported during 2023. These scams were reported to BBB Scam Tracker in our 48-county service area throughout last year:

Online Purchasing Scams
Online purchasing scams were by far the most common scam in our area in 2023. These cons often involve purchases and sales on classifieds websites and other direct seller-to-buyer sites. Scammers may pretend to purchase an item only to send you a bogus check and ask you to refund the “accidental” overpayment. In other cases, the scammer will pretend to be a legitimate online seller but never deliver the goods.
One victim in our service area shared their experience on BBB Scam Tracker. “I ordered custom pet pajamas and never received the product. When I contacted the company, no one responded. I tried three different times to reach out to customer service, and have not heard from anyone. My bank account was charged and I never received the item I ordered.”
498 people fell victim to an online purchasing scam last year. These include scams involving pet adoption, online shopping and social media advertising.

Employment Scams
These scammers advertise jobs on the web and social media, or reach out to those who have posted resumes on job boards. They also may involve reshipping goods purchased with stolen credit cards. Other common scams promise jobs but provide victims with counterfeit checks, asking them to send money to a supposed third party for equipment to perform the job.
196 instances of these scams were reported on Scam Tracker.

Phishing Scams
135 individuals in our service area fell victim to phishing scams in 2023. Always beware of any unsolicited or unexpected communications asking for personal information or telling you to download an attachment. These scams are “phishing” for your Social Security number, passwords, credit card information, or other personal details for use in identity theft.
One consumer recently reported their experience to Scam Tracker. “The person calls and says there has been suspicious activity on your amazon account, charges made in another state. (We don’t have an amazon account), and to clear the charge he will need your bank’s routing number and your account number.”
Don’t fall for the bait! Learn more about phishing scams in this BBB tip.

Product Scams
It’s hard to resist a great bargain, especially on luxury goods and other high-priced items, but when it comes to counterfeit merchandise, consumers get scammed in a myriad of ways. Counterfeit products are rarely of the same quality as the original. They steal from designers and innovators who create original work, take business away from honest retailers, and reduce tax revenue. In some cases, counterfeit goods finance illegal activities and even exploit child labor.
24 individuals were scammed by a counterfeit product seller in 2023.

Investment Scams
Investment scams take many forms, but all prey on the desire to make money without much risk or initial funding. They are often complex cons involving detailed stories. It can sometimes take years to realize you’ve been scammed. Even savvy investors fall for investment scams. Con artists are masters of persuasion, and they often learn the weaknesses of their targets and tailor their pitches accordingly.
A consumer saw a post online advertising an investment opportunity and bought into it, paying several “fees” before realizing it was a scam. “They try to stop communication by acting upset and try to make you feel bad because you don’t trust them. As long as you keep communicating, they will communicate reiterating, “this is the final fee and you can get paid…I really want you to get this money.”
21 people reported instances of investment scams last year

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