The pandemic has made us more aware of protecting our health, but what about protecting our financial well-being.

The “Top 10 Consumer Frauds” for 2020 was recently released by the NY Attorney General - and number one on the list was internet-related scams, according to NEWS 4 Buffalo.

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Melanie McGovern of the Better Business Bureau echoed that most of the riskiest frauds can be linked to the pandemic.

“With the pandemic, a lot of older people started shopping online, but they were not really too sure about it,” said Melanie McGovern “Whereas a lot of younger folks are on their mobile phones, they are not at a place where they can sit down and do that research.”

Among the riskiest are pet sales and pet supplies often found on the internet.  What could be suspect with this cute little puppy?

“So they are creating these websites with stock photos, or they are stealing photos off of other websites, and you think you’re getting a dog,” said McGovern. “Then all of a sudden, it’s ‘we need more money for a crate, we need more money because of the pandemic’, things like that.”

Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin is also an area of concern, especially in the financial services arena.

People see Bitcoin turning huge profits- but are many times unaware of the risk for big losses.

“They see people talking about all this money they are making in the cryptocurrency market and trying to get in, or scammers are asking them to pay with cryptocurrency and they are losing money because they don’t realize how much a Bitcoin is worth,” McGovern said.

Research your investments...don't be quick to react. If it sounds too good to be true...

“A lot of these scams could be avoided with just a simple internet search,” McGovern said. “You come to BBB.org, you give us a call- we were open the whole time. Or you go into a search engine and just search for the product, any scams related with it, if it is a newer website.”

The Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker can be found here.

 

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