The Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan released a rundown of the top scams they’ve seen this year.
In third place: sweepstakes scams and employment scams tied for third.
They say most of the sweepstakes scams involved Publisher’s Clearing House lookalikes and other fake giveaways that tricked people into sending in personal information or money for prizes they never receive.
BBB’s advice: don’t give your info to giveaways, especially if you didn’t sign up.
In employment scams, people are approached by fake companies with easy jobs that look real.
They’re asked for personal information, and sometimes even asked to forward money in the form of fake checks or gift cards. The jobs are easy, at-home tasks like package reshipment or secret shoppers.
BBB’s advice: If a job sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
In second place: phishing scams.
Consumers get emails and phone calls from scammers posing as real businesses, who usually say there’s a “problem” and they need your personal information to fix it.
The BBB says the top business that scammers pretended to be from in 2021 was Amazon.
BBB’s advice: if you think there’s a problem, log onto your account or call the company yourself.
And in first place for 2021: Online purchase scams, especially pet scams.
Many people have been getting pets during the pandemic, but beware of fake breeder sites.
People are buying pets online without seeing them in person and finding out that the expensive animal they paid for isn’t real.
The BBB says these scammers will even find ways to get payments from you more than once.
BBB’s advice: don’t send the money if you haven’t met the pet.
You can find information on trusted businesses and pet sellers on the , and if you’ve been targeted or scammed you can .