BBB: Online shopping scams are now the riskiest type of fraud

The most common scam purchases of 2017 were related to pets, cosmetics, clothing, electronics and automobiles. (File Photo)

The Better Business Bureau says online shopping scams now top its list of riskiest types of fraud.

These scams jumped from number four on the list in 2016 to number one last year.

"Well this is the place where people are losing all their money. Because they're purchasing things online and the website looks authentic and maybe it looks like one you've used before, maybe it's an advertisement you see pop up on social media," said Veronica Craker, Content & Communication Director with the Better Business Bureau.

The most common scam purchases of 2017 were related to pets, cosmetics, clothing, electronics and automobiles.

"This correlates with our free trial scams that we see where you an add online that says get these weight loss pills or get this nutrition supplement for free. All you have to pay is shipping and handling and it's a free trial," Craker said.

Free sounds nice, but you have to read the find print.

The B-B-B says victims often get caught in having to pay to continue the trial because they didn't call and cancel after 90 days.

"If you purchase something online you need to check your online banking statements all the time. Make sure it goes through, make sure it clears and make sure the name matches the business you ordered from," Craker said.

The amount of money people have lost can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars with this scam.

The B-B-B says millennials are at the highest risk, but older victims tend to lose more money!

"Really what is happening is we're so comfortable with the internet and we're so used to doing all of our shopping and communicating through it that it's easy for us to get scammed," Craker said.

If you're doing any shopping online make sure you research the company first.

Check the reviews. If you're giving your money away, it's best you know who it's going to.

"Make sure they're using security measures in place so that S or the lock symbol on the browser. That shows that they have inscription codes on their website and they're protecting your information," Craker said.

The B-B-B says one thing they've learned from this scam is that scammers are no longer getting you through the phone, they're getting you through the internet.

Just like how we block phone calls from numbers we don't know, experts say we need to be more careful about giving our credit card numbers to people over the internet.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off