A BBB spokesperson said the new way scammers are finding victims is through impersonation and text messages.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Internet fraud is on the rise. According to the Better Business Bureau, from 2015 to 2022, the number of online frauds increased by 87%. During the same period, the number of telephone frauds decreased by 42%.

“While online scams are the most common, a new way to find victims is through the use of impersonation and text messaging,” said Jessica Hamlin of the BBB of Central Ohio.

As of 2022, online fraud is 55% more common than other delivery methods, with 75% of people losing money when targeted.

Text messaging was the most prominent offline method used to push people online. The BBB claims that text message fraud will increase from 11% in 2015 to 30% in 2022.

A big target for scammers is people between the ages of 18 and 24. The BBB says this age group saw the largest jump in average dollar losses compared to other age groups at about 25%, and they are more likely to trust online influencers.

“Being online, being influenced and being in the way of scammers is what sets you up to fall for a scammer,” Hamlin said.

BBB said the best way to avoid falling for a scam is to listen to your gut and remember that it’s too good to be true. It’s best to do your research from a reliable source, and if someone pushes you to act immediately, take it as a sign.

  • If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be careful when buying wanted items.
  • Check with a trusted source before you buy.
  • Avoid impulse purchases on social media.
  • Use secure, traceable transactions.
  • Choose your online payment system carefully.
  • Don’t believe everything you see.
  • Ask for verification and take the time to do your research with a reliable source.
  • Be skeptical of those who approach you unsolicited.

The BBB has a fraud tracker to help consumers and businesses report fraud. The BBB fraud tracker also helps people search for fraud reports to determine if they are a target.

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