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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Thieves using online scams to start the new year

Online purchase scams like pet adoptions are gaining steam in 2021.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Online purchase scams make up a third of all scams being reported to the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio’s Scam Tracker.

“80% saying they’ve actually lost money,” says President and C.E.O. Kip Morse. “On average, they’re losing $100.”

Online purchase scams like pet adoptions are gaining steam in 2021.

Same with shipping scams where victims receive text messages notifying them of a purchase on Amazon or other retail websites. 

The message usually comes with a link asking you to click to confirm your purchase.

Don’t.

Morse says if you click on the link, there is a good chance it will say that you have money taken off your credit card for a purchase and ask you to call a number.

“Then they’re going to put you in touch someone who will say – what’s your credit card number so I can verify and all of a sudden, your credit card information is gone to a scammer,” Morse said.

Morse says the reason scammers are so successful despite the constant warnings about their tactics is because human nature makes people easy targets.

“We all let our guard down from time to time and we’re all stressed out,” Morse said. “We’re very busy, very anxious so sometimes we don’t do our homework and we forget.”

Morse says people need to understand scammers will use emotion, scare tactics, and promises of a prize to entice people into falling victim.

Right now, stimulus checks, COVID-19, and other new year related phishing scams will circulate more frequently.

Check here for the latest scams as reported to the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio.