Dennis Horton, Director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), joined the WROK Morning Show on Tuesday to run down the BBB’s list of last year’s top scams that were reported locally here in the Rockford area, and unsurprisingly, it all seems to start and end with online scams, many of them pandemic-related.
When asked this morning if COVID-19 related online scams are going to be with us a while, Dennis explained:
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. As we start the new year, with vaccines and stimulus programs continuing to roll out, we only expect to see these trends continue.
During our interview this morning, Dennis gave us the rundown on the top ten scams of the year and went into detail on how those scams work, and who they’re targeting. As I mentioned, online purchase scams are far and away number one on the list, with puppy scams (a nasty COVID-19 lockdown related con) helping to lead the way.
Here are the rest that made the BBB’s top ten:
- Counterfeit Products (shoes, purses, clothing, electronics, etc)
- Employment (scam job offers)
- COVID-related Scams
- Debt Collections (invoices, calls, or emails about fake debts)
- Advance Fee Loans (the promise of a loan, after you pay big fees)
- Phishing Scams
- Credit Card Scams
- Credit Repair/Debt Relief
- Identity Theft
Take a listen as the BBB’s Dennis Horton runs down the list with details, and explains what you can do to protect yourself from being taken: