LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A new report shows cryptocurrency scams climbed to the second riskiest scam type in 2021, with online purchase scams coming in first.

Despite the risk, there are some ways to avoid getting ripped out of a buck.

“A lot more younger people actually are looking to invest in cryptocurrency,” said BBB Western Michigan Communication Specialist Katie Grevious. “It’s kind of that new, slightly unknown.”

Unfortunately, curiosity is creating more targets for scammers. According to the 2021 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, more than 66% of people who reportedly fell victim to a cryptocurrency scam also reported losing money.

“Because it’s so new and so unknown and it’s not regulated by the federal government that opens a huge door for scammers,” said Grevious.

As the pandemic goes on, more people continue to shop online.

Nearly 75% of people who reported online purchase scams lost money. The most popular method scammers contact victims is through websites and social media.

“And that’s a huge red flag, people approaching you on social media and then also with these huge guarantees,” continued Grevious.

To avoid becoming a victim, there are a few tips you can follow.

Firstly, do your research on the website or business through an independent source, like the BBB Scam Tracker, before making a purchase.

“So, you really have to do that homework and do that research and understand who you’re working with and what that company is, how well established they are, and how they know what they’re doing,” said Grevious.

Additionally, use secure and traceable transactions and payment methods and avoid impulse buying.

Lastly, if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

“Because it’s unregulated, once you lose money to that scammer, you are likely not going to get it back,” remarked Grevious.

The Top 5 Riskiest Consumer Scams in 2021 were online purchase scams, cryptocurrency scams, employment scams, home improvement scams, and investment scams.