LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—The new year is around the corner, and the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan (BBB) is warning people to watch out for scams. The BBB says the top scams targeting people in 2021 were: online purchases, phishing, employment, and sweepstakes/lottery scams.
The BBB wants people to watch out for scams in 2022.
“We really just don’t want people to be giving information over the phone,” said Katie Grevious, Communications Specialist, BBB, “We don’t want them to click on links from texts and emails.”
Grevious says 2021 was quite a year for scammers.
“The number one scam that we want people to be aware of is online purchase scams,” Grevious said.
The BBB states online purchase scams continue to grow due to online shopping. Grevious says people will create fake websites and products to trick others to give up their money.
“We also want people to be aware of phishing scams,” Grevious said, “It’s the second highest-ranked scam heading into 2022.”
Phishing scams involve fake texts and emails asking for usernames and passwords for online accounts.
Grevious says those scams lie by saying you’re locked out, and in order to get back into your account they ask for personal information.
Other top scams of 2021 were sweepstakes and lottery.
Grevious told 6 News these scams offer free money and use real sources like, “Publishers Clearing House.”
“Publishers Clearing House is legitimate, they do give away free money,” Grevious said. “The only way they are going to do that is if they show up at your door with a giant check, they are not going to call you or email you, ask you to pay to have money shipped to you.”
She says scammers may even try to trick you out of a new furry friend. Scammers have been posting fake pet-selling websites to lure in crowds.
“They are asking you to pay for them without ever having seen the animal and that’s a huge red flag,” Grevious said.
The BBB suggests looking at the animal in-person first.
“Any legitimate breeder or shelter there going to want to make sure you’re a good fit for that animal and that animal’s a good fit for you,” Grevious said.
Overall, the best advice Grevious can offer on behalf of the BBB is to not give money online or over the phone unless it is a trusted source.
“Just don’t send anybody any money and that’s how you can avoid that scam altogether,” Grevious said.