Wisconsin BBB: Covid-19 scams proved costly in 2020. Here’s what you can expect in 2021.

Milwaukee, Wis. – The experiences and lessons learned in 2020 will go a long way, especially as we move into 2021.  COVID-19 changed our lives and our behaviors – especially as consumers and business owners. With a greater emphasis on trust, consumers have raised the bar when choosing where to shop, how they shop online, and the importance of supporting local businesses.

But one misstep – and unsuspecting citizens could be swimming with sharks. Unfortunately, scammers continue to take full advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, preying on vulnerable people who often are desperate and unaware of the dangers that lurk ahead.

Better Business Bureau’s 2020 COVID-19 Scam wrap up report illustrates the impact of COVID-19 related scams, with women being the most susceptible. According to BBB Scam Tracker, the median amount of money someone lost from a COVID-19 related scam in 2020 was $88. Most consumers lost money from visiting fraudulent and fake websites.

Download the infographic (PDF).

How to Avoid Coronavirus Scams

Looking ahead into 2021, BBB warns consumers to watch for more of the same type of scams, especially around employment opportunities and health and safety precautions. To see some of the top related coronavirus scams, check out our BBB tips on COVID-19.

Since the pandemic began early last year, fraudsters will look for ways to use similar tactics or elevate their methods as the crisis continues. BBB recommends everyone be prepared to spot and report scams because it is more critical than ever.

Read BBB’s tips on what kinds of scams are out there and how to avoid them.

For More Information

For more consumer tips regarding COVID-19, see BBB.org/Coronavirus

For more business tips, see BBB.org/SmallBusiness.

If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim to scams.For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.