Online purchases remain the top scam in Nebraska in 2021


HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – For another year, online purchases are the most common scam – this time for 2021.

The Better Business Bureau says it accounted for 37.4% of all scams reported last year, with 74.9% of those reports involving financial losses. Officials say scammers have been constantly changing their tactics to keep consumers in the dark.

We caught up with Josh Planos, director of public relations and communications for BBB Serving Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas Plains & Southwest Iowa, ahead of the newly released numbers, and he said while online shopping scams are nothing new, they’re doubling the pandemic down on the up scam.

“We’ve seen more fraudulent activity in the last three years than in any other year on record,” Planos said. “We’ve issued scam alerts every week for 10 straight years and we’ve never seen anything like the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Planos went on to say that it probably wouldn’t be a surprise if online shopping continued to be the top scam in Nebraska for years to come.

“We released an in-depth study of online shopping scams in December, which found that reports of this type of scam nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020, and it was on track for 2021, although those numbers are still there are not final.” Added plans.

As for why it continues to be such a problem, Planos said it’s easy to spot the telltale signs.

“It was considered our riskiest scam of 2020 and there are more BBB-F rated businesses in online shopping than any other type of business, so I know we all expect our purchases to happen online. It’s never been easier, and that’s usually a really good thing,” Planos said.

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