March 26, 2024

Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland (BBB) has released its Top Ten Scams of 2021.

Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland (BBB) has released its Top Ten Scams of 2021.

The list was compiled on reports submitted to BBB Scam Tracker by local consumers, BBB President and CEO Sue McConnell explained.

“While COVID-19 related scams did not make the top 10 list this year, the influences of the pandemic affected the proliferation and types of scams BBB saw in 2021,” she said. “For example, reports citing identity theft increased dramatically from last year primarily due to unemployment fraud during the 2021 tax season.”

Scammers took advantage of increased unemployment due to COVID-19 closures and job losses to collect benefits in the names of unsuspecting victims, she added.

Phishing and online purchase scams took the first and second spots on BBB’s 2021 list, respectively.

“Not surprising considering the spike in online shopping, supply chain and labor shortages, and the growth of social media advertising,” McConnell said. “Scammers have taken advantage of these factors to launch phishing scams and deceptive websites.”

BBB witnessed this in the continued popularity of pet scams and fake breeder sites used to lure consumers as they looked for new furry friends to add to their families during quarantine, she said.

“For example, online pet scams were prevalent again this year as some consumers opted to utilize their time spent in…

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