Better Business Bureau talks top 2021 scams in West Tennesssee

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Better Business Bureau has released their 2021 Scam Tracker Risk Report, and this year’s finding is looking a bit different from previous years.

To no surprise, online purchase scams are still number one for “most riskiest” scams, while cryptocurrency comes as a close second, according to the bureau’s report.

“In West Tennessee in particular, the top scams are going to be online purchase and employment scams. We do get cryptocurrency scams here, but they are not in the top three considered in our area,” said Daniel Irwin, the Director of Public Relations and Outreach for the BBB Mid-South.

Irwin says in West Tennessee alone, there were around 347 reports of scams, and they averaged around $300,000 lost.

“Most scams we see are some form of an impersonation scam. So they’re pretending to be somebody that they’re not, and they do that by impersonating government agencies. They impersonate well known businesses,” Irwin said.

Irwin says there are many ways scammers try to lure in their victims. One of those ways is by getting victims to purchase gift cards.

“Once you’ve purchased that gift card, it’s like sending cash. You can’t get it back, and it’s untraceable. Now cryptocurrency is quickly becoming the number two preferred method, but remember gift cards are for gifts and not payments. No government agency or businesses are going to ask you to pay them or pay a fine or win a prize or anything like that with the gift cards,” Irwin said.

Irwin adds if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, the BBB has a few resources that might help you in the future.

“We will always encourage you to report it to us, the Better Business Bureau. Also, depending on what the scam is, you might want to report it to the Federal Trade Commission and your local law enforcement. Again, can’t always get your money back, but it’s important that they know what’s going on in the community,” Irwin said.

Irwin says that if you are a victim of a scam, it’s not your fault.

Only one in 17 people report scams, and Irwin says its the important to report a scam if you’ve fallen victim.

So you can keep yourself and others safe.

Find scam tips here.

You can find more local news through the WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News app.

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