Report: CT Consumers Lost $234K to Scams in 2022
Friday, March 10, 2023
A new report finds Connecticut consumers lost over 230-thousand dollars to scams in 2022. According to the Better Business Bureau of Connecticut, consumers reported 400 scams in 2022, up nearly a quarter from the year before.
The most common scams in the state were online counterfeit products, which accounted for almost 40-percent. Some of the costliest scams were home improvement and cryptocurrency scams, cost Connecticut consumers combined over 12-thousand dollars. Kristen Johnson with the Better Business Bureau of Connecticut says one reason home improvement scams are so lucrative is that they require complete payment upfront for the entire project.
Instead, Johnson's advice is to establish a different way of paying for home improvement projects.
"What you really should do is, you should set progress marks. When you meet this mark, then I will pay you this much money. When you meet the next mark then I will pay you another third, or that sort of thing so that what you're paying matches the work that's being done. "
Johnson cautions people to carefully research a product or service before giving personal financial information to purchase it.
Additionally, Johnson highly encourages folks to report any incidents to the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker, despite any embarrassment they may feel. Besides a statewide rise in scams, investigations have risen as well. In 2022, the Better Business Bureau of Connecticut completed 28 investigations, twice as many as 2021. Most of those were focused on employment scams targeting dozens of states. One type of employment scam targets people to do something called reshipping.
"According to the United States Postal Inspection Service, there is no such thing as a real reshipping job. So, if someone offers you that type of job, that is a scam. As more companies are asking people to return to the office, those who want to work from home are being targeted by these phony job offers."
An investigation into Delta Vision, a reshipping company, led to the job posting site Indeed being able to reject all posts by the scam company. The other type of employment scam involves setting up a home office with a phony check from a scam company. In cashing the fake check, a person unwittingly makes their own money available to scammers who claim to be the company's vendors.
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