Scam reports jump 75 percent year-to-year, BBB says -

Scam reports jump 75 percent year-to-year, BBB says

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

The Better Business Bureau reported a sharp increase in the number of scams reported to them in 2017. In total, the Bureau said 953 scams were reported to the BBB's Scam Tracker website, a 75 percent increase from 2016 to 2017.

"People who live in small towns like Hannibal, Missouri or Quincy, Illinois are just as likely to be scammed as people who live here in the big city," said Don O'Brien, investigations manager in the St. Louis BBB office.

Carol Brown, of House Springs, said in December scammers tried to convince her to send them money for computer tech support that she didn't need. "I think they're awful, I think taking advantage of other people is cruel," said Brown.

The BBB said the top 5 types of scams last year involved phishing, online purchases, debt collections, tax collections and computer tech support.

O'Brien said you know you're being scammed if you receive notification that you won sweepstakes that you didn't enter. And he said it's confirmation that it's a scam if they tell you to send money to cover costs of some kind.

He also said you should suspect someone is trying to scam you if you get an email or a phone call that urges you to take immediate action.

O'Brien said, "If you've got a great deal or someone wants to give you a prize or something, say can I get a phone number to call you back so I can investigate this to make sure you are legitimate and you are who you say you are."

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