LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Scammers are shifting their focus to online platforms, according to data from the Better Business Bureau.
During the pandemic many people started using new online platforms as more and more of us started working from home, giving scammers a new audience.
“The number of online scams reported to the Better Business Bureau is up 87%,” said Troy Baker with the BBB.
While many people associate scams with phone calls many scammers are using social media, email and text messages.
It’s proving effective when it comes to finding new victims.
“Young people are the most impacted by this. The dollar amount loss has heavily weighed toward seniors, but when it comes to online scams, young people lose the most out of any age group,” Baker said.
Chances are you’ve seen a bunch of scams on social media from what seems like familiar organizations.
“Impersonation is a big aspect of what scammers are doing. They’re taking the organizations that you already know and finding a way to convince you that you’re talking to that real organization,” said Baker.
The BBB says they are seeing a drop off in phone scams by nearly 42%.
“Phone companies are doing a very good job of identifying those as potential scams or scam likely. So what scammers have done is, they still want to get you on your phone, so they do it as a text message, which are not as readily identified as a scam,” Baker said.
The BBB says as you navigate those social media platforms, or receive a random text, make sure to take the extra minute to think.
“One of the best things people can do is have a healthy skepticism when you get unsolicited offers and make sure that you’re dealing with the real place, not using what the impersonator sends you, but the thing that already knows works,” Baker said.
Officials told 6 News the most impersonated organizations are Amazon, the Social Security Administration, and the IRS.