CROMWELL, Conn. — Connecticut consumers reported 115 scams to Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker
between November 1st
, 2022 and January 1st
, 2023 resulting in more than $50,000 in loses. By comparison, during that same timeframe in 2021 there were 45 reports of scams to BBB’s Scam Tracker from Connecticut residents, resulting in $17,000 in loses.
The most reported scam was the online purchase scam. Local consumers lost an average of $500 in online purchase scams. Often, the victims reported ordering an item on a website or through social media but never receiving it. In some cases, the scammer went as far as to give the consumer a tracking number, but the item never arrived. Among the items ordered over the internet were kitchen appliances, clothes, toys, and puppies.
"Ordered tires. Never arrived. Tracking number says delivered to address in OR, but I am in CT. Told me to follow up with mail carrier. Cannot tell me where my order is. No offer to reship or refund. Now when I go back onto the web page it is a wedding/flower shop," reported a Waterford resident.
Phishing scams were nearly as prevalent, as imposters pretending to be USPS and other delivery services targeted residents with a common delivery con, using false claims to steal money and personal information. In most instances, the scammer claimed that a package couldn’t be delivered because of incomplete address information. The consumers were advised to pay a three-dollar fee to have the package re-delivered. Many residents reported the scam to BBB Scam Tracker to warn others, but a few paid the fee and found that once the scammer had their credit card information, they charged them more than three dollars.
“I was waiting for a package to be delivered it was also raining, I received a text saying that my package wasn’t delivered because the labeling got damaged. They told me I had to pay $3 for the redelivery fee they provided me with a link that brought me to the UPS website later that night I was charged $100 for Uber trip I didn’t take," one New Haven resident reported.
Together, online purchase and phishing scams accounted for 60% of the scams that occurred during the holiday shopping season. While the number of scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker increased from the previous year, the average loss to online purchase scams was cut in half. In 2021, Connecticut consumers reported losing an average of $1,042 to online purchase scams versus $500 in 2022. Here are a few other stats on holiday shopping season scams*:
$971 - Average Overall Loss
Top 3 Scams
Scam with the Largest Single Monetary Loss
Those Who Reported a Scam To Scam Tracker Say They Lost Money: