DALLAS (KDAF) — A new report from the Better Business Bureau reveals that online scams rose 87% since 2015, while phone scams dropped more than 40%.

The Start with Trust Online report looked at scams that were perpetrated online to gather information on how to help protect consumers from online fraud. The report found that:

  • So far in 2022, 75% of all scams reported with a monetary loss were perpetrated via online means
  • Scams perpetrated via text message continue to be risky with an $800 median dollar loss so far in 2022
  • Impersonating a well-known person or organization was by far the most reported tactic used by scammers (54%)
  • Ages 18-24 reported the highest median dollar loss for online purchase scams so far in 2022, up almost 26% from 2021

Here’s what they recommend consumers do to protect themselves:

  • If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Price was the top motivating factor for people who made a purchase and then lost money. Don’t shop on price alone.
  • Be careful purchasing sought-after products. Scammers offer hard-to-find items and highly sought-after products at great prices.
  • Before you buy, do your research with a trusted source. One of the best ways to avoid scams is to verify the offer and avoid making snap buying decisions.
  • Avoid making quick purchases on social media. 25% of survey respondents reported being targeted while browsing social media.
  • Use secure and traceable transactions. Avoid paying by wire transfer, prepaid money card, gift card, or other non-traditional payment methods.
  • Choose your online payment system carefully. Take some time to understand the rules around your online payment system; not all will reimburse money if you get scammed.
  • Don’t believe everything you see. Scammers are great at mimicking official seals, fonts, and other details. Just because a website or email looks official does not mean it is. For example, if a business displays a BBB Accredited Business seal, you can verify its legitimacy by going to BBB.org and looking up the company yourself.
  • Ask for verification and take time to do research with a trustworthy source. People who lost money to a scam were almost twice as likely than those who avoided losing money to say the scammer used impersonation as a tactic.
  • Be skeptical about anyone who reaches out to you unsolicited. Survey respondents told us scammers produced fake business cards, websites, credentials, ratings and more

For the full report, visit the Better Business Bureau.