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Better Business Bureau's Top Scams For 2021: Online Shoppers Beware

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Lifted by the surge in online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers are rampantly taking advantage of digital shoppers.

The new annual Scam Tracker report from the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois reveals online purchase scams still dominate the No. 1 position for the second year in a row. Phishing scams, mostly related to online shopping, moved up to the second-most common scam reported locally.

CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory has reported on crooks capitalizing on holiday shoppers online.

As more people work from home, employment scams were ranked No. 3 for the second year in a row.

CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker has reported on fake job posts, dug into these scams and found out who is being targeted and why.

Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois says, "Scammers have been notorious for taking advantage of any current events and news, and unfortunately, the pandemic has been no exception. This has been an opportunity for fraudsters to prey on people's emotions and the huge increases in remote working and online shopping."

Top 10 Scams of 2021:

1. Online Purchase – (#1 for second year in a row – most often fake websites – often Pets)
2. Phishing Scams – (Clicking on scam links can lead to malware -- imposter scams)
3. Employment – (Scam job offers – often work from home)
4. Counterfeit Products (Clothing, electronics, shoes, purses, etc.)
5. Fake Invoice/Supplier Bill (Sent to businesses who sometimes pay without checking)
6. Identity Theft
7. Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams (new)
8. Debt Collections
9. Tech Support Scams (new)
10. Cryptocurrency (new)

BBB urges anyone encountering a scam, whether they lose money or not, to report it to the BBB Scamtracker.

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